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Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch. 2009 Jan;40(1):53-66. doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2008/07-0052). Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Emergent name-writing abilities of preschool-age children with language impairment.

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Preschool Language and Literacy Lab, P.O. Box 400873, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.



The 2 studies reported in this manuscript collectively address 3 aims: (a) to characterize the name-writing abilities of preschool-age children with language impairment (LI), (b) to identify those emergent literacy skills that are concurrently associated with name-writing abilities, and (c) to compare the name-writing abilities of children with LI to those of their typical language (TL) peers.


Fifty-nine preschool-age children with LI were administered a battery of emergent literacy and language assessments, including a task in which the children were asked to write their first names. A subset of these children (n=23) was then compared to a TL-matched sample to characterize performance differences.


Results showed that the name-writing abilities of preschoolers with LI were associated with skills in alphabet knowledge and print concepts. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that only alphabet knowledge uniquely contributed to the variance in concurrent name-writing abilities. In the matched comparison, the TL group demonstrated significantly more advanced name-writing representations than the LI group.


Children with LI lag significantly behind their TL peers in name-writing abilities. Speech-language pathologists are encouraged to address the print-related skills of children with LI within their clinical interventions.

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