Brittney M Williams, Denise Bothe, Catherine Lipman, Rachel Tangen, A-139 Language and Communication Skills in Children with Different Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Diagnoses, Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, Volume 37, Issue 6, September 2022, Page 1293, https://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acac060.139
Objective: Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) exhibit language deficits, but there has been limited investigation of differences in language and every day communication abilities between FASD diagnostic subgroups. Objective: First, it was hypothesized that children across FASD diagnoses would show deficits in expressive and receptive language and parent rated communication compared to the normative sample. Second, it was hypothesized that language and communication scores would get significantly worse as the severity of FASD diagnosis increased.
Method: 90 children (Mean Age = 8 years; 58% Male) were assessed through FASD multidisciplinary clinic using the 4-digit code (Astley, 2004). Fourteen participants met criteria for full/partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), 29 for Static Encephalopathy (SE), and 47 for Neurobehavioral Disorder (ND). Language skills were assessed with Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Formulated Sentences, NEPSY-2 Comprehension of Instructions, and Vineland-III Communication subtest.
Results: The FASD group performed significantly worse than the normative sample on expressive language (p <.001; 95% CI [-5.72, -2.63]), receptive language (p<.001; 95% CI [-3.33, -2.12]) and communication tasks (p <.001; 95% CI [-24.70, -20.30]). The expressive language score was significantly different between groups: F (2, 30.208) = 5.355, p = .020. The ND group performed significantly better (p = .048) 95% CI [.04, 9.96] than other groups. No other significant differences were found.
Conclusions: Children with FASD have language deficits on objective measures and parent ratings, which should be a focus of intervention. Expressive but not receptive language or communication skills were impacted by diagnostic severity; therefore, other factors impacting communication should be examined.