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ERIC Number: EJ1092470
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Gestural Abilities of Children with Specific Language Impairment
Wray, Charlotte; Norbury, Courtenay Frazier; Alcock, Katie
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v51 n2 p174-182 Mar 2016
Background: Specific language impairment (SLI) is diagnosed when language is significantly below chronological age expectations in the absence of other developmental disorders, sensory impairments or global developmental delays. It has been suggested that gesture may enhance communication in children with SLI by providing an alternative means to convey words or extend utterances. However, gesture is a complex task that requires the integration of social, cognitive and motor skills, skills that some children with SLI may find challenging. In addition, there is reason to believe that language and gesture form an integrated system leading to the prediction that children with a SLI may also have difficulties with gestural communication. Aims: To explore the link between language and gesture in children with poor language skills. Methods & Procedure: Fifteen children with SLI and 14 age-matched typically developing children (TD) participated in this study. The children completed measures of expressive and receptive vocabulary, non-verbal cognition, motor control, gesture comprehension and gesture production. Outcomes & Results: TD children achieved significantly higher scores on measures of gesture production and gesture comprehension relative to children with SLI. Significant correlations between both measures of vocabulary and both measures of gesture suggest a tight link between language and gesture. Conclusions & Implications: The findings support the idea that gesture and language form one integrated communication system, rather than two separate communication modalities. This implies that children with SLI may have underlying deficits that impact not only on language but also on gesture production and comprehension.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A