Cognitive Profiles of Finnish Preschool Children With Expressive and Receptive Language Impairment Purpose The aim of this study was to compare the verbal and nonverbal cognitive profiles of children with specific language impairment (SLI) with problems predominantly in expressive (SLI-E) or receptive (SLI-R) language skills. These diagnostic subgroups have not been compared before in psychological studies. Method Participants were preschool-age ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 15, 2018
Cognitive Profiles of Finnish Preschool Children With Expressive and Receptive Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Virpi Saar
    Phoniatric Outpatient Clinic, Eye and Ear Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital, Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Finland
    University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Sari Levänen
    Phoniatric Outpatient Clinic, Eye and Ear Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital, Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Finland
  • Erkki Komulainen
    University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 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 Virpi Saar: virpi@saar.fi
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Filip Smolik
    Associate Editor: Filip Smolik×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 15, 2018
Cognitive Profiles of Finnish Preschool Children With Expressive and Receptive Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2018, Vol. 61, 386-397. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0365
History: Received September 20, 2016 , Revised February 13, 2017 , Accepted October 17, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2018, Vol. 61, 386-397. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0365
History: Received September 20, 2016; Revised February 13, 2017; Accepted October 17, 2017

Purpose The aim of this study was to compare the verbal and nonverbal cognitive profiles of children with specific language impairment (SLI) with problems predominantly in expressive (SLI-E) or receptive (SLI-R) language skills. These diagnostic subgroups have not been compared before in psychological studies.

Method Participants were preschool-age Finnish-speaking children with SLI diagnosed by a multidisciplinary team. Cognitive profile differences between the diagnostic subgroups and the relationship between verbal and nonverbal reasoning skills were evaluated.

Results Performance was worse for the SLI-R subgroup than for the SLI-E subgroup not only in verbal reasoning and short-term memory but also in nonverbal reasoning, and several nonverbal subtests correlated significantly with the composite verbal index. However, weaknesses and strengths in the cognitive profiles of the subgroups were parallel.

Conclusions Poor verbal comprehension and reasoning skills seem to be associated with lower nonverbal performance in children with SLI. Performance index (Performance Intelligence Quotient) may not always represent the intact nonverbal capacity assumed in SLI diagnostics, and a broader assessment is recommended when a child fails any of the compulsory Performance Intelligence Quotient subtests. Differences between the SLI subgroups appear quantitative rather than qualitative, in line with the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM V) classification (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

Acknowledgments
This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper. Marja-Leena Haapanen, Marja Laasonen, and Pauli Brattico are thanked for valuable comments and help at the preliminary stages of this project.
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