Publication date: February 2017
Source:International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, Volume 93
Author(s): Yalda Kazemi, Soodeh Saeednia
ObjectiveThis study aimed to examine the diagnostic accuracy of a non-word repetition (NWR) test in identifying Persian-speaking preschool children with specific/primary language impairment (PLI). Children with PLI show consistently poorer performance in non-word repetition tasks than their typically developing language (TDL) counterparts. It is assumed that the ability to repeat non-words triggers language skills and that the absence of this ability may be responsible for language impairment in PLI children.MethodsTwenty preschool children with PLI participated in this study and were compared with 31 peers whose language skills were developing typically. The TDL children were randomly selected from daycare centers, and the children with PLI were referred by qualified speech-language pathologists from speech therapy clinics. A Persian NWR test was administered and scored using two levels of scoring: item-level scoring and syllable-level scoring.Data were analyzed in two phases. The first phase aimed to determine any differences between the two groups of children in terms of NWR ability. The second phase examined the diagnostic measures of the test.ResultsThe results of first phase documented that both scoring methods for the NWR test significantly differentiated between children with PLI and their normal peers. The second phase indicated that both scoring methods for the NWR test have good sensitivity and specificity in differentiating Persian-speaking children with PLI from their normal peers.ConclusionNon-word repetition can be a reliable clinical marker of PLI in Persian-speaking preschool children.