Linguistic functions following closed head injury in children and adolescents



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An important issue in the field of developmental neuropsychology concerns the effect of age at the time of cerebral insult upon cognitive status. The Neurosensory Center Comprehensive Examination for Aphasia was used to examine linguistic performance in 57 children and adolescents who sustained either a mild or a moderate/severe closed head injury. The design was a 2 (Age) X 2 (Severity) factorial. Analysis of variance indicated no sparing of language functions in children. Moreover, as compared to adolescents, children were disproportionately affected on measures of written language. Naming and writing functions were adversely affected by moderate/severe injury. In contrast, neither expressive nor receptive language skills were differentially influenced by the severity of injury. Coma duration was a better predictor of linguistic functioning than the Glasgow Coma Scale score. Results were discussed in terms of previous studies of acquired language disorders in children. Implications of the effect of cerebral injury on developing cognitive skills were examined.



Brain, Wounds and injuries, Complications, Speech disorders, Neuropsychology