Deficits in Coordinative Bimanual Timing Precision in Children With Specific Language Impairment Purpose Our objective was to delineate components of motor performance in specific language impairment (SLI); specifically, whether deficits in timing precision in one effector (unimanual tapping) and in two effectors (bimanual clapping) are observed in young children with SLI. Method Twenty-seven 4- to 5-year-old children with SLI and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2017
Deficits in Coordinative Bimanual Timing Precision in Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Janet Vuolo
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Lisa Goffman
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Howard N. Zelaznik
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Janet Vuolo: jvuolo@purdue.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Jenny Roberts
    Associate Editor: Jenny Roberts×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2017
Deficits in Coordinative Bimanual Timing Precision in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2017, Vol. 60, 393-405. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0100
History: Received March 3, 2015 , Revised September 16, 2015 , Accepted June 20, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2017, Vol. 60, 393-405. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0100
History: Received March 3, 2015; Revised September 16, 2015; Accepted June 20, 2016

Purpose Our objective was to delineate components of motor performance in specific language impairment (SLI); specifically, whether deficits in timing precision in one effector (unimanual tapping) and in two effectors (bimanual clapping) are observed in young children with SLI.

Method Twenty-seven 4- to 5-year-old children with SLI and 21 age-matched peers with typical language development participated. All children engaged in a unimanual tapping and a bimanual clapping timing task. Standard measures of language and motor performance were also obtained.

Results No group differences in timing variability were observed in the unimanual tapping task. However, compared with typically developing peers, children with SLI were more variable in their timing precision in the bimanual clapping task. Nine of the children with SLI performed greater than 1 SD below the mean on a standardized motor assessment. The children with low motor performance showed the same profile as observed across all children with SLI, with unaffected unimanual and impaired bimanual timing precision.

Conclusions Although unimanual timing is unaffected, children with SLI show a deficit in timing that requires bimanual coordination. We propose that the timing deficits observed in children with SLI are associated with the increased demands inherent in bimanual performance.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC04826 (awarded to Lisa Goffman). We thank Janna Berlin, Barb Brown, Allison Gladfelter, and Meredith Saletta for their assistance with many phases of this study.
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