Receptive language development in nonverbal children with cerebral palsy : research review of patterns and predictor variables
Szarmach, Elaine Heather
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A research review of eleven studies pertaining to receptive language performance among nonverbal, school-age children with cerebral palsy was completed. The purpose of this review was to identify components and predictor variables of receptive language growth among the target population. The studies were analyzed to further explore how limited verbal output related to comprehension level and to determine appropriate expectations for receptive abilities within the target population. Results suggested that language performances within the domains of verbal and written comprehension were generally lower compared to children matched for chronological age. However, performances were also highly variable among the target population, indicating the potential for typical receptive language development despite impaired expressive abilities. In addition, the following variables demonstrated predictive patterns across subjects: type of cerebral palsy, home literacy environment, and reading status. Clinical implications, including assessment and treatment planning considerations that are sensitive to unique developmental patterns demonstrated in the target population, are discussed. The empirical focus on language output and the use of mixed age groups in current studies on cerebral palsy warrant future research. Additional investigations of receptive language growth as it relates to specific age groups within this clinical population are needed.