Linguistic abilities of children with fetal alcohol syndrome

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Linguistic abilities of children with fetal alcohol syndrome

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Title: Linguistic abilities of children with fetal alcohol syndrome
Author: Hamilton, Marilyn Ann
Abstract: Linguistic delays are a frequent concomitant of reduced intellectual ability. The present study examined linguistic development in intellectually impaired children with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The purposes of the study were to describe the level of linguistic functioning in a group of five-year-old children with FAS and to assess the impact of reduced intellectual ability on the linguistic performances of these children. The linguistic performances of FAS children were compared to similar data from normally developing children from comparable age, sex and socioeconomic groupings, as well as to the following control groups: (1) a group of three-year-old MLU matched normal children, and (2) a group of five-year-old intellectually matched children with Prader-Willi syndrome. These subjects' linguistic performances were assessed by examining syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic development. In addition, since short-term memory deficits have been reported to occur in adults who misuse alcohol, short-term memory capabilities were examined in FAS children to determine if similar deficits existed. When compared to normative data as well as to MLU matched younger normal children, the results of this study clearly indicated that children with FAS were delayed in syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, and short-term memory functioning. The linguistic delays were more pronounced in production rather than comprehension of linguistic information. Short-term memory deficits were more pronounced in short-term memory for related syllables (sentences) rather than for unrelated word series. The results of this study did not substantiate the impact of reduced intellectual ability on the linguistic performances observed in FAS children.
Description: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 1981
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/8237

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