Article/Report  |   August 2009
Phonological Accuracy and Intelligibility in Connected Speech of Boys With Fragile X Syndrome or Down Syndrome
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth Barnes
    North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Joanne Roberts
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Steven H. Long
    Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
  • Gary E. Martin
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Mary C. Berni
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Kerry C. Mandulak
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • John Sideris
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Contact author: Elizabeth F. Barnes, who is now at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 105 Smith Level Road, CB# 8180, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180. E-mail: barnes@mail.fpg.unc.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article/Report   |   August 2009
Phonological Accuracy and Intelligibility in Connected Speech of Boys With Fragile X Syndrome or Down Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2009, Vol. 52, 1048-1061. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0001)
History: Received January 1, 2008 , Revised August 12, 2008 , Accepted November 6, 2008
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2009, Vol. 52, 1048-1061. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0001)
History: Received January 1, 2008; Revised August 12, 2008; Accepted November 6, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 15

Purpose: To compare the phonological accuracy and speech intelligibility of boys with fragile X syndrome with autism spectrum disorder (FXS-ASD), fragile X syndrome only (FXS-O), Down syndrome (DS), and typically developing (TD) boys.

Method: Participants were 32 boys with FXS-O (3–14 years), 31 with FXS-ASD (5–15 years), 34 with DS (4–16 years), and 45 TD boys of similar nonverbal mental age. We used connected speech samples to compute measures of phonological accuracy, phonological process occurrence, and intelligibility.

Results: The boys with FXS, regardless of autism status, did not differ from TD boys on phonological accuracy and phonological process occurrence but produced fewer intelligible words than did TD boys. The boys with DS scored lower on measures of phonological accuracy and occurrence of phonological processes than all other groups and used fewer intelligible words than did TD boys. The boys with FXS and the boys with DS did not differ on measures of intelligibility.

Conclusions: Boys with FXS, regardless of autism status, exhibited phonological characteristics similar to those of younger TD children but were less intelligible in connected speech. Boys with DS showed greater delays in all phonological measures than the boys with FXS and the TD boys.

Acknowledgments
The research reported in this article was supported by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grants 1 R01 HD38819, 1 R01 HD044935, and 1 R03 HD40640 as well as and funding from the March of Dimes. We thank the boys who participated in our study as well as their families. We also acknowledge the assistance of the data collectors on the Carolina Communication Project: Anne Edwards, Lauren Moskowitz, Cheryl Malkin, Joy Scott, and Beth Hennon. We thank Jan Misenheimer and Lauren Nelson for data analysis.
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