Effects of Prelinguistic Communication Levels on Initiation and Repair of Communication in Children With Disabilities Purpose: This study examined the effects of expressive and receptive language levels on initiated and repaired communication acts by prelinguistic children with developmental disabilities. Method: In this descriptive study, participants were 45 children between the ages of 3 and 6 years who had severe delays in expressive communication. Some children ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2005
Effects of Prelinguistic Communication Levels on Initiation and Repair of Communication in Children With Disabilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy C. Brady
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Tammy Steeples
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Kandace Fleming
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: nbrady@ku.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2005
Effects of Prelinguistic Communication Levels on Initiation and Repair of Communication in Children With Disabilities
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2005, Vol. 48, 1098-1113. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/076)
History: Received June 28, 2004 , Revised November 10, 2004 , Accepted February 24, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2005, Vol. 48, 1098-1113. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/076)
History: Received June 28, 2004; Revised November 10, 2004; Accepted February 24, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10

Purpose: This study examined the effects of expressive and receptive language levels on initiated and repaired communication acts by prelinguistic children with developmental disabilities.

Method: In this descriptive study, participants were 45 children between the ages of 3 and 6 years who had severe delays in expressive communication. Some children communicated with 12 or fewer spoken words; others communicated exclusively with gestures and vocalizations. Participants also had delays in receptive language, and 41 of the 45 had below average IQ scores. The children participated in a scripted interaction with examiners that was designed to provide opportunities to initiate requests and comments, and to repair communication breakdowns. Videotapes of these interactions were later coded for analysis.

Results: Regression models indicated that differences in children's expressive communication levels and receptive language scores significantly predicted children's commenting communication acts during the scripted interaction, even after the authors accounted for child IQ. Expressive communication level was also a significant predictor of initiated requests when the authors controlled for IQ. Expressive communication level contributed to the variance in children's repairs following communication breakdowns; however, this contribution was not significant.

Conclusion: Differences in levels of prelinguistic communication development predict commenting abilities in children with developmental disabilities but do not appear to predict likelihood to repair communication breakdowns.

Acknowledgment
The research reported in this article was supported by Grant 5 PO1 HD018955-20 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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