A Comparison of Phonological Skills of Boys With Fragile X Syndrome and Down Syndrome In this study, the authors compared the phonological accuracy and patterns of sound change of boys with fragile X syndrome, boys with Down syndrome, and typically developing mental-age-matched boys. Participants were 50 boys with fragile X syndrome, ages 3 to 14 years; 32 boys with Down syndrome, ages 4 to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2005
A Comparison of Phonological Skills of Boys With Fragile X Syndrome and Down Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joanne Roberts
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Steven H. Long
    Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
  • Cheryl Malkin
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Elizabeth Barnes
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Martie Skinner
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Elizabeth A. Hennon
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Kathleen Anderson
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: joanne_roberts@unc.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2005
A Comparison of Phonological Skills of Boys With Fragile X Syndrome and Down Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2005, Vol. 48, 980-995. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/067)
History: Received March 30, 2004 , Revised October 7, 2004 , Accepted February 18, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2005, Vol. 48, 980-995. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/067)
History: Received March 30, 2004; Revised October 7, 2004; Accepted February 18, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 48

In this study, the authors compared the phonological accuracy and patterns of sound change of boys with fragile X syndrome, boys with Down syndrome, and typically developing mental-age-matched boys. Participants were 50 boys with fragile X syndrome, ages 3 to 14 years; 32 boys with Down syndrome, ages 4 to 13 years; and 33 typically developing boys, ages 2 to 6 years, who were matched for nonverbal mental age to both the boys with fragile X syndrome and the boys with Down syndrome. All participants were administered a standardized articulation test, and their sound accuracy, phonological process, and proportion of whole-word proximity scores were analyzed. Although boys with fragile X syndrome were delayed in their speech development, they did not differ from the typically developing, mental-age-matched boys in the percentage of correct early-, middle-, and late-developing consonants; phonological processes; or whole-word proximity scores. Furthermore, boys with fragile X syndrome had fewer errors on early-, middle-, and late-developing consonants; fewer syllable structure processes; and higher whole-word proximity scores than did boys with Down syndrome. Boys with Down syndrome also were delayed in their speech development, yet their phonological inventories, occurrences of phonological processes, and proportion of whole-word proximity scores indicated greater delays in their phonological development than the younger, typically developing boys. These results suggest that males with fragile X syndrome display phonological characteristics in isolated words similar to younger, typically developing children, whereas males with Down syndrome show greater delays as well as some developmental differences compared with both the males with fragile X syndrome and typically developing males.

Acknowledgments
Research was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grants 1 R01 HD38819, 1 R01 HD044935, and 1 R03 HD40640 and the
March of Dimes. We thank the children and families who participated in this study.
We greatly appreciate the assistance of Anne Edwards, Julia Jurgens, Lauren Moskowitz, and Kathleen Neff for data collection. We thank Jan Misenheimer for data analysis. We appreciate Sarah Henderson’s assistance in manuscript preparation. We also appreciate the comments of Lawrence Shriberg and Raymond Kent on our protocol development. We want to thank the staff of the Carolina Fragile X Project, directed by Donald Bailey, for their assistance with this project.
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