Research Reports - Verbal ability and language outcome following traumatic brain injury in early childhood

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 Jul 3

Crowe LM, Anderson V, Barton S, Babl FE, Catroppa C

OBJECTIVE:: To investigate language outcomes of TBI in preschool-aged children.
Competent early language skills are pivotal for the future development of
literacy skills. While previous research has reported that traumatic brain injury
(TBI) places children at risk of language impairments, the majority of these
studies have been conducted with school-aged children.
SETTING:: Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
PARTICIPANTS:: Children aged 4 to 6 years who had sustained a mild (N = 19) or
moderate/severe (N = 16) TBI prior to 3 years of age and a control group (N = 20)
of typically developing children matched for age, gender, and socioeconomic
status.
MAIN MEASURES:: The Wechsler Preschool and Primary School Scale of Intelligence,
Third Edition, measured Verbal IQ. The Clinical Evaluation of Language
Fundamentals-Preschool version and the Bus Story Test measured language skills.
RESULTS:: More severely injured children displayed greater impairments in verbal
intellectual abilities and language skills compared with children with mild TBI
and uninjured children. Children with mild TBI performed similarly to children in
the control group.
CONCLUSION:: Language appears vulnerable to TBI and should be investigated as a
matter of course in clinical assessments of TBI recovery.

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