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Brain Lang. 1998 Feb 15;61(3):335-75.

Narrative discourse in children with early focal brain injury.

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  • 1San Diego State University, CA 92182, USA.


Children with early brain damage, unlike adult stroke victims, often go on to develop nearly normal language. However, the route and extent of their linguistic development are still unclear, as is the relationship between lesion site and patterns of delay and recovery. Here we address these questions by examining narratives from children with early brain damage. Thirty children (ages 3:7-10:10) with pre- or perinatal unilateral focal brain damage and their matched controls participated in a storytelling task. Analyses focused on linguistic proficiency and narrative competence. Overall, children with brain damage scored significantly lower than their age-matched controls on both linguistic (morphological and syntactic) indices and those targeting broader narrative qualities. Rather than indicating that children with brain damage fully catch up, these data suggest that deficits in linguistic abilities reassert themselves as children face new linguistic challenges. Interestingly, after age 5, site of lesion does not appear to be a significant factor and the delays we have witnessed do not map onto the lesion profiles observed in adults with analogous brain injuries.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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