Narrative Ability of Children With Speech Sound Disorders and the Prediction of Later Literacy Skills Purpose The main purpose of this study was to examine how children with isolated speech sound disorders (SSDs; n = 20), children with combined SSDs and language impairment (LI; n = 20), and typically developing children (n = 20), ages 3;3 (years;months) to 6;6, differ in narrative ability. The second ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2011
Narrative Ability of Children With Speech Sound Disorders and the Prediction of Later Literacy Skills
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rachel L. Wellman
    Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, Cleveland, OH
  • Barbara A. Lewis
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Lisa A. Freebairn
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Allison A. Avrich
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Amy J. Hansen
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Catherine M. Stein
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Correspondence to Barbara A. Lewis: bxl@case.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Victoria Joffe
    Associate Editor: Victoria Joffe×
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2011
Narrative Ability of Children With Speech Sound Disorders and the Prediction of Later Literacy Skills
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2011, Vol. 42, 561-579. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0038)
History: Received May 24, 2010 , Revised October 28, 2010 , Accepted March 9, 2011
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2011, Vol. 42, 561-579. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0038)
History: Received May 24, 2010; Revised October 28, 2010; Accepted March 9, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 14

Purpose The main purpose of this study was to examine how children with isolated speech sound disorders (SSDs; n = 20), children with combined SSDs and language impairment (LI; n = 20), and typically developing children (n = 20), ages 3;3 (years;months) to 6;6, differ in narrative ability. The second purpose was to determine if early narrative ability predicts school-age (8–12 years) literacy skills.

Method This study employed a longitudinal cohort design. The children completed a narrative retelling task before their formal literacy instruction began. The narratives were analyzed and compared for group differences. Performance on these early narratives was then used to predict the children’s reading decoding, reading comprehension, and written language ability at school age.

Results Significant group differences were found in children’s (a) ability to answer questions about the story, (b) use of story grammars, and (c) number of correct and irrelevant utterances. Regression analysis demonstrated that measures of story structure and accuracy were the best predictors of the decoding of real words, reading comprehension, and written language. Measures of syntax and lexical diversity were the best predictors of the decoding of nonsense words.

Conclusion Combined SSDs and LI, and not isolated SSDs, impact a child’s narrative abilities. Narrative retelling is a useful task for predicting which children may be at risk for later literacy problems.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was supported by Grant DC00528 (awarded to Barbara A. Lewis) from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. We wish to express our appreciation to Kay McNeal and Stacy Williams for their support and guidance, to the SLPs who assisted us in recruiting study participants, and to the families who generously agreed to participate in the study.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access