Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Lee, A., Harte, J., Gibbon, F., O’Leary D., Peppé, S., Ní Mhurchú, D., & O’Mahony, O
The 17th ICPLA Conference
Receptive and expressive prosodic skills in children with spina bifida.
St. Julian’s, Malta
Poster Presentation
Optional Fields
Background: Spina bifida (SB) occurs when the neural tube fails to close during gestation, resulting in malformation of the brain and spinal cord. Hence, children with SB often have lifelong problems in sensory and motor functions; and difficulties in the cognitive domain and communication. One important aspect of communication – prosody – has not been investigated systematically in this group. Difficulties in understanding or using prosody can cause communication deficits which may underlie some of the lower than expected educational and social outcomes in these children. Purpose: This study investigated the strengths and weaknesses of expressive and receptive prosodic skills in children with SB; and compared their performance with age- and language-matched typically developing (TD) peers. Method: The participants were 18 children with SB (aged 7-12 years, mean age: 9;02), 18 age-matched TD children (TDA; mean age: 9;02), and 17 language ability-matched TD children (TDL; mean age: 7;10). Each group had one bilingual participant; the others were monolingual Irish-English speakers. Ten subtests of the 2015 version of PEPS-C (Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication) for Irish-English were administered to each child. These subtests assess Auditory discrimination and Imitation of prosodic patterns; and comprehension and production of prosody functions: Turn-end (distinguishing questions vs. statements); Affect (like vs. dislike); Boundary; and Contrastive stress. Results: Children with SB as a group scored ≥75% (i.e. showed competencies) in seven subtests. They performed best with Receptive Affect and worst with Expressive Affect. Results of MANOVA showed that they scored significantly lower than the TDA (on seven subtests) and TDL groups (on two subtests). The overall prosodic skills profile of the SB group was similar to that of the control groups, particularly TDL, but at a lower level. Conclusions: Children with SB probably have specific difficulties understanding and expressing some aspects of prosody which could negatively impact on their everyday social interaction.
Health Research Board