First Advisor

Stepiien A Kosokoff

Term of Graduation

Fall 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences


Speech Communication




MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories, Cerebral palsied children -- Language, Language disorders in children -- Diagnosis, Language acquisition -- Testing



Physical Description

1 online resource, (2,v,81 pages)


Many children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) will receive speech and language intervention throughout their lives. However, there is a lack of descriptive data for language and gesture development of children with CP. When assessing the skills of children with CP, standardized tests and clinical observations have several inherent faults due to time constraints, normative data, and physical constraints. An alternative method used to gather data in the area of language and gesture development is parent questionnaire. The MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory: Words & Gestures was chosen for this study because it has been shown to be an efficient, valid, and reliable tool that can be used with older children who might have delayed skills.

The primary purpose of the present study was to gather descriptive data on the vocabulary and gesture development of 2 to 6-year-old children with CP who are speaking and nonspeaking. This study also sought to answer the following question: Is there a difference between mean scores of children who are nonspeaking and speaking on measures of phrase and word comprehension and gesture production?

Seventeen children, 2 to 6 years old, were selected from hospitals, clinics, early intervention programs, and by word of mouth. Subjects were accepted into the study if they had normal or delayed cognitive skills, correctable vision and hearing, CP, and a signed consent form.

The subjects were divided into two groups, speaking and nonspeaking, based on the number of expressive words that parents reported on the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory: Words & Gestures. Descriptive data (mean, standard deviation, and range) were tabulated on the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory: Words & Gestures for both groups on all six measures (phrase comprehension, comprehended and spoken words, early gesture, later gesture, and total gesture production). The raw scores were then compared to the normative data for typically developing children when age equivalencies were achieved. The mean scores of all measures for both groups were analyzed using the Wilcoxon rank sum equation. The differences between mean scores for all measures between the children who were speaking and nonspeaking was statistically significant at the .05 level.


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