Speech Impairment in Boys With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Background Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are a highly prevalent spectrum of patterns of congenital defects resulting from prenatal exposure to alcohol. Approximately 90% of the cases involve speech impairment. Yet, to date, no detailed symptom profiles nor dedicated treatment plans are available for this population. Purpose This ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   October 31, 2018
Speech Impairment in Boys With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hayo Terband
    Utrecht Institute of Linguistics - OTS, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • Manon Spruit
    Utrecht Institute of Linguistics - OTS, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
    Logopedie & Stottertherapie, Lingen, Germany
  • Ben Maassen
    Centre for Language and Cognition & University Medical Centre, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
  • 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 Hayo Terband: h.r.terband@uu.nl
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer×
  • Editor: Carol Miller
    Editor: Carol Miller×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   October 31, 2018
Speech Impairment in Boys With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0013
History: Received January 26, 2017 , Revised August 1, 2017 , Accepted May 11, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0013
History: Received January 26, 2017; Revised August 1, 2017; Accepted May 11, 2018

Background Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are a highly prevalent spectrum of patterns of congenital defects resulting from prenatal exposure to alcohol. Approximately 90% of the cases involve speech impairment. Yet, to date, no detailed symptom profiles nor dedicated treatment plans are available for this population.

Purpose This study set out to chart the speech and speech motor characteristics in boys with FASD to profile the concomitant speech impairment and identify possible underlying mechanisms.

Method Ten boys with FASD (4.5–10.3 years old) and 26 typically developing children (4.1–8.7 years old; 14 boys, 12 girls) participated in the study. Speech production and perception, and oral motor data were collected by standardized tests.

Results The boys with FASD showed reduced scores on all tasks as well as a deviant pattern of correlations between production and perception tasks and intelligibility compared with the typically developing children. Speech motor profiles showed specific problems with nonword repetition and tongue control.

Conclusions Findings indicate that the speech impairment in boys with FASD results from a combination of deficits in multiple subsystems and should be approached as a disorder rather than a developmental delay. The results suggest that reduced speech motor planning/programming, auditory discrimination, and oral motor abilities should be considered in long-term, individually tailored treatment.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO-VENI Grant 275-89-016; Hayo Terband) and the Dutch Rehabilitation Fund (Grant 2011/0165-060; Ben Maassen and Hayo Terband). The authors gratefully thank the participants and their parents/caretakers for their time and effort as well as Frits van Brenk and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on earlier versions of this article.
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