Language Comprehension Profiles of Young Adolescents With Fragile X Syndrome Purpose In this study, the authors sought to characterize the language phenotype of fragile X syndrome (FXS), focusing on the extent of impairment in receptive syntax, within-syndrome variability in those impairments in relation to gender, and the syndrome specificity of those impairments. Method The Test for Reception of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2013
Language Comprehension Profiles of Young Adolescents With Fragile X Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ashley Oakes
    MIND Institute, University of California, Davis
    University of California– Davis
  • Sara T. Kover
    Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Leonard Abbeduto
    MIND Institute, University of California, Davis
    University of California– Davis
  • Correspondence to Ashley Oakes: ashley.oakes@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer6h
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer6h×
  • Associate Editor: Juliann Woods
    Associate Editor: Juliann Woods×
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2013
Language Comprehension Profiles of Young Adolescents With Fragile X Syndrome
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2013, Vol. 22, 615-626. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2013/12-0109)
History: Received August 21, 2012 , Revised January 15, 2013 , Accepted May 5, 2013
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2013, Vol. 22, 615-626. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2013/12-0109)
History: Received August 21, 2012; Revised January 15, 2013; Accepted May 5, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose In this study, the authors sought to characterize the language phenotype of fragile X syndrome (FXS), focusing on the extent of impairment in receptive syntax, within-syndrome variability in those impairments in relation to gender, and the syndrome specificity of those impairments.

Method The Test for Reception of Grammar, Version 2 (Bishop, 2003), was used to examine the overall receptive syntactic skills of adolescents with FXS (n = 35; 30 males, 5 females), adolescents with Down syndrome (DS; n = 28; 18 males, 10 females), and younger typically developing (TD) children (n = 23; 14 males, 9 females) matched on nonverbal cognition. Performance on specific grammatical constructions and error types was examined for a subset of matched participants.

Results Participants with FXS had overall receptive syntax scores that were lower than those of the TD participants but higher than those of the participants with DS; however, there was no difference in performance between the FXS and DS groups when females were excluded. Grammatical constructions that were especially difficult for participants with FXS and those with DS were identified, especially relative clause constructions and reversible constructions requiring attention to word order encoded by syntactic features.

Conclusion The current findings have implications for understanding the nature of the language learning difficulties of individuals with FXS and for language interventions.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Child Health and Human Development Grants R01 HD024356 and P30 HD003352, awarded to the third author, and by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant F31 DC010959, awarded to the second author. The study reported in this article was completed to fulfill the requirements for the first author's master's degree from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. We offer special thanks to Jan Edwards and Susan Ellis Weismer, and to the families who participated in the study. A portion of the results from the current study were presented at the 2011 Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders.
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