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Article

The Association between Difficulties with Speech Fluency and Language Skills in a National Age Cohort of Children with Down Syndrome

1
Department of Special Needs Education, University of Oslo, 0318 Oslo, Norway
2
Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, 0373 Oslo, Norway
3
Faculty of Teacher Education, Arts and Sports, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 6851 Sogndal, Norway
4
Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Margaret B. Pulsifer
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(6), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060704
Received: 18 April 2021 / Revised: 21 May 2021 / Accepted: 22 May 2021 / Published: 26 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Down Syndrome: Neuropsychological Phenotype across the Lifespan)
The present study (a) addressed difficulties in speech fluency in children with Down syndrome and typically developing children at a similar non-verbal level and (b) examined the association between difficulties with speech fluency and language skills in children with Down syndrome. Data from a cross-sectional parent survey that included questions about children’s difficulties with speech fluency, as well as clinical tests from a national age cohort of 43 six-year-olds with Down syndrome and 57 young typically developing children, were collected. Fisher’s exact test, Student’s t-test, linear regression, and density ellipse scatter plots were used for analysis. There was a significantly higher occurrence of parent-reported difficulties with speech fluency in the children with Down syndrome. Higher language scores were significantly associated with a lower degree of difficulties; this association was strongest for vocabulary and phonological skills. Although difficulties with speech fluency were not reported for all children with Down syndrome, a substantially higher occurrence of such difficulties was reported compared to that for typically developing children. The significant association between difficulties with speech fluency and the level of language functioning suggests that speech fluency and language skills should be taken into consideration when planning treatment for children with Down syndrome. View Full-Text
Keywords: down syndrome; fluency; disfluency; co-occurrence; comorbidity; language down syndrome; fluency; disfluency; co-occurrence; comorbidity; language
MDPI and ACS Style

Næss, K.-A.B.; Nygaard, E.; Hofslundsengen, H.; Yaruss, J.S. The Association between Difficulties with Speech Fluency and Language Skills in a National Age Cohort of Children with Down Syndrome. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 704. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060704

AMA Style

Næss K-AB, Nygaard E, Hofslundsengen H, Yaruss JS. The Association between Difficulties with Speech Fluency and Language Skills in a National Age Cohort of Children with Down Syndrome. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(6):704. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060704

Chicago/Turabian Style

Næss, Kari-Anne B., Egil Nygaard, Hilde Hofslundsengen, and J. S. Yaruss 2021. "The Association between Difficulties with Speech Fluency and Language Skills in a National Age Cohort of Children with Down Syndrome" Brain Sciences 11, no. 6: 704. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060704

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