Cohesive Referencing Errors During Narrative Production as Clinical Evidence of Central Nervous System Abnormality in School-Aged Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Purpose Previous evidence suggests that cohesive referencing errors made during narratives may be a behavior that is revealing of underlying central nervous system abnormality in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The current research extends this evidence. Method Retrospective analysis of narrative and clinical data from 152 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2016
Cohesive Referencing Errors During Narrative Production as Clinical Evidence of Central Nervous System Abnormality in School-Aged Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • John C. Thorne
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Truman E. Coggins
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • 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 John C. Thorne: jct6@uw.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Amanda Van Horne
    Associate Editor: Amanda Van Horne×
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2016
Cohesive Referencing Errors During Narrative Production as Clinical Evidence of Central Nervous System Abnormality in School-Aged Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 532-546. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0124
History: Received August 26, 2015 , Revised February 1, 2016 , Accepted March 7, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 532-546. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0124
History: Received August 26, 2015; Revised February 1, 2016; Accepted March 7, 2016

Purpose Previous evidence suggests that cohesive referencing errors made during narratives may be a behavior that is revealing of underlying central nervous system abnormality in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The current research extends this evidence.

Method Retrospective analysis of narrative and clinical data from 152 children (ages 6 to 14), 72 of whom had confirmed FASD, was used. Narrative analysis was conducted blind to diagnostic status, age, or gender. Group performance was compared. The associations between measures of cohesive referencing and clinically gathered indices of the degree of central nervous system abnormality were examined.

Results Results show clear associations between elevated rates of cohesive referencing errors and central nervous system abnormality. Elevated error rates were more common in children with FASD than those without, and prevalence increased predictably across groups with more severe central nervous system abnormality. Risk is particularly elevated for those with microcephaly or a diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome.

Conclusion Cohesive referencing errors during narrative are a viable behavioral marker of the kinds of central nervous system abnormality associated with prenatal alcohol exposure, having significant potential to become a valuable diagnostic and research tool.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to acknowledge Susan J. Astley, Lesley B. Olswang, Stacy K. Betz, Heather Carmichael Olson, Sara Jerger, and everyone at the University of Washington Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic and Prevention Network and the University of Washington Child Language Lab for their support in completion of this research.
Portions of the research reported here were conducted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of doctor of philosophy at the University of Washington by John C. Thorne and are discussed in his doctoral dissertation.
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