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Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2007 May;16(2):108-18.

Speech and language skills of parents of children with speech sound disorders.

Author information

  • 1Behavioral Pediatrics and Psychology 6038, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Case Western Reserve University, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-6038, USA. bxl@po.cwru.edu



This study compared parents with histories of speech sound disorders (SSD) to parents without known histories on measures of speech sound production, phonological processing, language, reading, and spelling. Familial aggregation for speech and language disorders was also examined.


The participants were 147 parents of children with SSD (58 fathers and 89 mothers) who were directly tested and interviewed for family history of disorders.


Thirty-six parents (18 mothers and 18 fathers) reported enrollment in speech therapy as children for SSD. Parents with a history of speech therapy obtained lower scores on the Multisyllabic Word Repetition, Nonword Repetition, and Tongue Twister tasks than parents without such histories. These parents also had poorer reading, spelling, and receptive language skills. Parents with histories of SSD and additional language impairments (LI) performed worse than parents with isolated SSD on all measures except Pig Latin and oral motor skills. Familial aggregation for SSD and LI was supported. In addition, the likelihood of SSD in a family member increased by a factor of 1.9 over rates of SSD found in individuals without additional family members with SSD, and the odds of LI increased by a factor of 4.1 over rates of LI found in individuals without additional family members with LI for each additional family member with SSD or LI, respectively.


The results documented both residual effects in adulthood of childhood SSD and familial aggregation for SSD. These residual difficulties do not appear to affect educational and occupational outcomes.

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