Speech and Language Skills of Individuals With Prader-Willi Syndrome The speech and language of 55 individuals (27 males and 28 females) with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), aged from 6 months to 42 years, were examined through standardized testing and spontaneous speech sample analysis. While great variability was noted in speech and language abilities, most subjects presented with speech sound errors ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2002
Speech and Language Skills of Individuals With Prader-Willi Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara A. Lewis, PhD
    Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland
  • Lisa Freebairn
    Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland
  • Shauna Heeger
    University of California, Irvine
  • Suzanne B. Cassidy
    University of California, Irvine
  • Contact author: Barbara A. Lewis, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve, University, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-6038. E-mail: bxl@po.cwru.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2002
Speech and Language Skills of Individuals With Prader-Willi Syndrome
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2002, Vol. 11, 285-294. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/033)
History: Received September 6, 2000 , Accepted November 12, 2001
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2002, Vol. 11, 285-294. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/033)
History: Received September 6, 2000; Accepted November 12, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 15

The speech and language of 55 individuals (27 males and 28 females) with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), aged from 6 months to 42 years, were examined through standardized testing and spontaneous speech sample analysis. While great variability was noted in speech and language abilities, most subjects presented with speech sound errors characterized by imprecise articulation (85%), and oral motor difficulties (91%). Hypernasality was noted in 62% and hyponasality in 14%. Other speech characteristics included a slow speaking rate, flat intonation patterns, abnormal pitch of the voice, and harsh/hoarse voice quality. Narrative retelling abilities were poor, with specific deficits in sequencing of story events. Individuals with PWS as a result of deletions of chromosome 15 did not differ significantly in speech and language from individuals with PWS as a result of uniparental disomy.

Acknowledgments
We wish to express our appreciation to the individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome and their families who generously agreed to participate and to Francesca Sieg and Dianne Pacella who assisted in data collection.
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