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J Speech Hear Res. 1985 Jun;28(2):175-84.

Constructive comprehension abilities exhibited by language-disordered children.


Constructive comprehension abilities were compared in a group of 12 language-disordered children (second graders) and two groups of children acquiring language normally (12 second graders matched to the language-disordered subjects on nonverbal cognitive skills and 12 kindergartners matched on language comprehension). Differences were examined in proficiency of the children in constructing spatial and causal inferences associated with short stories presented in a Verbal Task and Picture Task. The language-disordered group scored significantly lower on inference items than the cognitively matched control group of second graders on both tasks. A conditional analysis indicated that even when the language-disordered subjects appropriately answered the relevant premise items, they were significantly less likely than the second-grade controls to correctly respond to inference items on both tasks. There was no significant difference between the language-disordered and kindergarten children for either the overall or conditional analysis. The finding that language-disordered children evidenced difficulty in inference construction for both verbal and pictorial material was interpreted as being indicative of a cognitive deficit.

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