Academic journal article The Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation

Disorders of the Sound Articulation in Preterm Children

Academic journal article The Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation

Disorders of the Sound Articulation in Preterm Children

Article excerpt


Speech and language development is a good indicator of child's cognitive development. The risk factors influencing development and functioning of prematurely born children are multiple. In addition to articulation disorder, there are motoric, conginitive and social aspects of delayed development. Premature babies are born before they physically ready to leave the womb. However, most babies born after about 26 weeks of gestational age have chances for survival, but they are at a greater risk of medical complications, since the earlier children are born, the less developed their organs are. Aim: To demonstrate basic parameters, establish differences, determine characteristics of disorder of sound articulation in fullterm and preterm children. Methodology: Research was conducted at the Clinics of Child's Habilitation and Rehabilitation in Novi Sad. The prospective research study was carried out comprising 61 children with mean age of 4 years. The study inclusion criteria were gestational age and birth weight. Regarding these parameters, the children without major neurlologic or system disabilities were included, and they were Serbian speaking. The sample comprised 31 children with GS≥38 weeks and body weight of ≥3000 g, while the preterm group comprised 30 children with GS≤32 weeks and body weight of ≤1500 g. Results of the study indicate to a difference between fullterm children and preterm children with regard to articulation disorders, of which the statistically significant was a sound distortion. The overall sample showed that the substitution with distortion was most frequent disorder, while the interdental sigmatism was the most represented one. Conclusion: The obtained results lead to conclusion that preterm children, being a high-risk group, need to be followed up by age two, and provided timely proffesional help at pre-school age, since numerous adverse factors affect their overall development.

Key words: preterm born babies, screening of sound articulation, articulation disorders

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Speech development begins from the moment a child is born, and it continues throughout the life. Children enter the phase of cooing and babbling without any prior experience, just as a result of their growing up (maturation).When they begin to form sensory motor associations, namely, to adjust their own production of sounds with sounds around them, and to omit those they cannot hear around them, it can be said they acquired the capacity of sound articulation. This ability results from interaction of maturation, disposition and learning.

Pre-lingual phase of speech begins with a baby's first cry, and it is very important since it gives rise to the improvement of auditory perception and articulatory apparatus. The lingual phase begins with conscious lingual utilization of the first word, approximately at the age of 9 to 12 months.

Articulation implies forming, and uttering of sounds, as the air flow changes owing to the movement of the tongue, lips and soft palatal (1).

Preterm born babies are exposed to influences that prevent normal development of language and speech. Majority of researches focus on the negative risk factors which prevent the development of speech in preterm born children. Since these factors are relevant not only for verbal, but also for motor skills, cognitive ability and social agents of developmental regression, they make a developmental pathology of verbal communication a part of a general developmental disorder (3).

It is essential to make distinction between a delayed, and pathological speech development. Although the delayed development alters slowly, it has an expected outcome. Whereas impaired speech development does not have expected outcome, and specific difficulties are manifested (4).

Due to technological advancements, a great number of preterm children born with extremely low birth weight (less than 1000 gr. …

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