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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Print version ISSN 1516-8034

Abstract

BEFI-LOPES, Debora Maria  and  RONDON, Silmara. Primary characteristics of the verbal communication of preschoolers with Specific Language Impairment in spontaneous speech. Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol. [online]. 2010, vol.15, n.3, pp. 415-420. ISSN 1516-8034.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-80342010000300017.

PURPOSE: To verify the phonological performance of preschoolers with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in spontaneous speech. METHODS: The subjects were 27 children with SLI with ages between three years and five years and 11 months, who attended Speech-Language Pathology therapy. The subjects who carried out at least 50% of the phonological assessment or who had speech intelligibility that allowed analysis were selected. Speech samples were obtained from a pragmatics evaluation and from elicited discourse. Analyses considered the use of developmental (DP) and idiossyncratic phonological processes (IP) in spontaneous speech. RESULTS: The descriptive statistics (mean DP and IP) showed large within-group variability. There was no variation in the number of processes according to age (DP: p=0.38; IP: p=0.72), but there was a prevalence of DP in all ages, in both tests (Z=-6.327; p<0.001). The occurrence of DP and IP was higher in the pragmatics evaluation (p<0.001), situation in which the number of words produced was also greater (T-value=8.93; p=0.000). CONCLUSION: The great within-group variability confirms the heterogeneity of SLI. The speech unintelligibility, which hampers the assessment of the expressive language of these subjects, can be attributed to the co-occurrence of DP and IP. Moreover, the interaction during the pragmatics evaluation was more effective for obtaining a sample of spontaneous speech for phonological analysis, and confirms the existence of major difficulties related to the development of ideas and their expression in subjects with SLI.

Keywords : Language development; Speech; Evaluation; Child; Child preschool.

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