Role of Maternal Gesture Use in Speech Use by Children With Fragile X Syndrome Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate how maternal gesture relates to speech production by children with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Method Participants were 27 young children with FXS (23 boys, 4 girls) and their mothers. Videotaped home observations were conducted between the ages of 25 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2014
Role of Maternal Gesture Use in Speech Use by Children With Fragile X Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura J. Hahn
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • B. Jean Zimmer
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Nancy C. Brady
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Rebecca E. Swinburne Romine
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Kandace K. Fleming
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Laura J. Hahn: laura.j.hahn@ku.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Juliann Woods
    Associate Editor: Juliann Woods×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2014
Role of Maternal Gesture Use in Speech Use by Children With Fragile X Syndrome
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2014, Vol. 23, 146-159. doi:10.1044/2013_AJSLP-13-0046
History: Received April 30, 2013 , Revised September 27, 2013 , Accepted November 5, 2013
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2014, Vol. 23, 146-159. doi:10.1044/2013_AJSLP-13-0046
History: Received April 30, 2013; Revised September 27, 2013; Accepted November 5, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate how maternal gesture relates to speech production by children with fragile X syndrome (FXS).

Method Participants were 27 young children with FXS (23 boys, 4 girls) and their mothers. Videotaped home observations were conducted between the ages of 25 and 37 months (toddler period) and again between the ages of 60 and 71 months (child period). The videos were later coded for types of maternal utterances and maternal gestures that preceded child speech productions. Children were also assessed with the Mullen Scales of Early Learning at both ages.

Results Maternal gesture use in the toddler period was positively related to expressive language scores at both age periods and was related to receptive language scores in the child period. Maternal proximal pointing, in comparison to other gestures, evoked more speech responses from children during the mother–child interactions, particularly when combined with wh-questions.

Conclusion This study adds to the growing body of research on the importance of contextual variables, such as maternal gestures, in child language development. Parental gesture use may be an easily added ingredient to parent-focused early language intervention programs.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Child Health and Human Development Grants P30 HD02538 and P30 HD003100. We would like to thank Liz Morrey Korthanke, Juliana Keller, and Amy Green, who assisted in data coding.
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