Macrostructural Narrative Language of Adolescents and Young Adults With Down Syndrome or Fragile X Syndrome Purpose To gain a better understanding of language abilities, the expressive macrostructural narrative language abilities of verbally expressive adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome (DS) and those with fragile X syndrome (FXS) were examined. Method The authors evaluated 24 adolescents and young adults with DS, 12 male ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2012
Macrostructural Narrative Language of Adolescents and Young Adults With Down Syndrome or Fragile X Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lizbeth H. Finestack
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Meghan Palmer
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Leonard Abbeduto
    Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Correspondence to Lizbeth H. Finestack: finestack@umn.edu
  • Leonard Abbeduto is now at the M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California, Davis.
    Leonard Abbeduto is now at the M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California, Davis.×
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Teresa Ukrainetz
    Associate Editor: Teresa Ukrainetz×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2012
Macrostructural Narrative Language of Adolescents and Young Adults With Down Syndrome or Fragile X Syndrome
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2012, Vol. 21, 29-46. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0095)
History: Received November 4, 2010 , Revised August 31, 2011 , Accepted September 28, 2011
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2012, Vol. 21, 29-46. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0095)
History: Received November 4, 2010; Revised August 31, 2011; Accepted September 28, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 17

Purpose To gain a better understanding of language abilities, the expressive macrostructural narrative language abilities of verbally expressive adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome (DS) and those with fragile X syndrome (FXS) were examined.

Method The authors evaluated 24 adolescents and young adults with DS, 12 male adolescents and young adults with FXS, and 21 younger children with typical development (TD). Narrative samples were assessed at the macrostructural level using the narrative scoring scheme (Heilmann, Miller, Nockerts, & Dunaway, 2010). Three group comparisons were made using (a) the full sample matched on nonverbal mental age, (b) a subset of the participants individually matched on nonverbal mental age, and (c) a subset of participants individually matched on mean length of utterance.

Results Study analyses revealed that the DS and FXS groups significantly outperformed the TD group on a limited number of narrative scoring scheme measures. No significant differences emerged between the DS and FXS groups.

Conclusions The study’s results suggest that some aspects of macrostructural narrative language may be relative strengths for adolescents and young adults with DS and those with FXS. These results can be used to create more nuanced and informed approaches to assessment and intervention for these populations.

Acknowledgments
We are grateful to all of the participants and their families whose dedication made this project possible. We thank Susen Schroeder for her oversight of the language transcription activities for the project. Preparation of this article was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants R01HD024356, T32HD007489, and P30HD003352, as well as the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts Freshman Research Scholar Program.
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