Phonological Awareness in Preschool Persian Speaking Children With Speech Sound Disorder: Impact of Comorbid Language Impairment
Introduction: This study aimed to investigate Phonological Awareness (PA) in children with Speech Sound Disorder (SSD). There are conflicting results about the pre-literacy skills of children with SSD. Previous studies have documented the heterogeneity within SSD children. The presence of a comorbid Language Impairment (LI) is an important factor for this heterogeneity.
Materials and Methods: The current study examined how a comorbid LI is related to phonological awareness as a pre-literacy skill in a sample of 5- to 6-year-old children with SSD. Participants were 46 children who divided into SSD and LI (n=13), isolated SSD (n=17), and normally developing peers (n=16). Speech production, language, and PA were assessed in these children.
Results: PA scores were significantly lower for children with comorbid LI. The difference between children with isolated SSD without any LI and normally developing children on PA tasks was observed only in words with same final consonant (P=0.021). These two groups performed similar on other PA tasks. Phoneme blending was the only variable that not yielded significant differences between three groups of children (P=0.183). The study of relation between children’s skills on the percentage of consonants correct (PCC), oromotor abilities, language skills, and PA showed that only there was a relation between spoken language and rhyme in children with SSD and LI (r=0.63, P=0.021).
Conclusion: These results suggest that children with SSD and comorbid LI experience PA deficits. These results suggested that PA and spoken language should be assessed in preschoolers with SSD.
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