Relationships Between Early Gestures and Later Language in Children With Fragile X Syndrome Purpose The authors hypothesized that significant positive relationships would exist between early gesture use and later language attainments in children with fragile X syndrome (FXS), as has been reported in studies with other populations. Method Participants were young children with FXS and limited expressive language (21 boys, 4 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2010
Relationships Between Early Gestures and Later Language in Children With Fragile X Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer L. Flenthrope
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Nancy C. Brady
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Contact author: Nancy C. Brady, University of Kansas, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders, 1000 Sunnyside Drive, Lawrence, KS 66045. E-mail: nbrady@ku.edu.
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Autism Spectrum / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2010
Relationships Between Early Gestures and Later Language in Children With Fragile X Syndrome
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2010, Vol. 19, 135-142. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/09-0018)
History: Received March 6, 2009 , Accepted October 28, 2009
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2010, Vol. 19, 135-142. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/09-0018)
History: Received March 6, 2009; Accepted October 28, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose The authors hypothesized that significant positive relationships would exist between early gesture use and later language attainments in children with fragile X syndrome (FXS), as has been reported in studies with other populations.

Method Participants were young children with FXS and limited expressive language (21 boys, 4 girls), divided into 2 subgroups based on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS; Schopler, Reichler, & Renner, 1988) scores. Data were collected when participants were about 2 years of age and again when they were about 5 years of age. Communication was assessed through the analysis of video samples obtained in the children’s homes for both observation periods. Correlational analyses were completed between early prelinguistic communication and later verbal communication scores for all participants and for children with high (>30) versus low (<30) scores on the CARS.

Results Although no significant relationships were found between prelinguistic gesture use and language outcomes for the group of children as a whole, significant negative correlations were found for the group of children who had high CARS scores.

Conclusions These outcomes did not support the authors' initial hypotheses. It was concluded that extensive use of developmentally early gestures by children with FXS who also have many symptoms of autism may not be a positive indicator of later language.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grants 3 P30 HD003110-3 and P30 HD002528-39. We also thank Megan Call and other members of the University of Kansas Fragile X research team who helped collect data for this study. Most of all, we thank the families who participated. Part of this study was completed as a thesis in fulfillment of the master of arts degree for the first author.
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