Impact of preturity on articulation in children

Speech and language are among the most sophisticated human abilities, but different factors can slow or stop their development. One of the most important risk factors is preterm birth which can often result in speech and language difficulties. The aim of the study is to define the prevalence of articulation disorders in a group of 34 preterms, age between 7 and 8 years and compare with their peers born on term (34 children) and also possible predictors of some clinical factors on articulation. All the children were examined individually using the Articulation Test (Vuleti}). The results showed that within the group of preterm born children there are statistically more articulation disorders (38%) than in the control group (23%). Preterm children have more systematical errors (stigmatismus) and more disordered sounds than their peers. Within the group of typically developing children there were more articulation disorders which involve only one or two sounds (lambdacismus and rotacismus). Lower values of the clinical measures of LBW, earlier gestational age and lower Apgar index carry a significantly higher risk for development of articulation disorders. The authors point out the need for early systemic screening for speech and language disorders, especially in children with perinatal risk and early speech habilitation which can prevent or palliate major articulation disorders.
Keywords: ARTICULATION DISORDERS – diagnosis, epidemiology; INFANT, PREMATURE
Category: Clinical observations - professional paper
Volume: Vol. 52, No 3, july - september 2008
Authors: Z. Kolundžić, M. Lenček, A. Klarić-Šimić, H. Tesari
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