Several studies indicate that school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulties with tasks that rely on executive functions. Whether executive function deficits in children with SLI emerge during preschool age remains unclear. Our aim was to fill this gap by investigating executive function performances in two age groups of preschoolers with and without SLI. Children with SLI (N= 60; young: 53.6. ±. 5.3 months; old: 65.4. ±. 3.8 months) and age-matched control children (N= 58) were tested for problem-representation ability, using the Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST), rule-use skills, using a Stroop-like Day-Night test (D/N), and planning skills, using the Tower of London test (TOL). Older children performed better than younger children did across tasks. Children with SLI had poorer performance, compared to typically developing children, on measures of problem representation, planning skills, and use of rules. Our results clearly indicate that executive function impairment is evident during the preschool period. Although old children with SLI performed better than young children with SLI, their performances were still poor, compared to those of control peers. These findings suggest that children with SLI have altered executive functioning at 53.6 months.

When words lead to solutions: Executive function deficits in preschool children with specific language impairment

COLONNELLO, VALENTINA;
2015

Abstract

Several studies indicate that school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulties with tasks that rely on executive functions. Whether executive function deficits in children with SLI emerge during preschool age remains unclear. Our aim was to fill this gap by investigating executive function performances in two age groups of preschoolers with and without SLI. Children with SLI (N= 60; young: 53.6. ±. 5.3 months; old: 65.4. ±. 3.8 months) and age-matched control children (N= 58) were tested for problem-representation ability, using the Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST), rule-use skills, using a Stroop-like Day-Night test (D/N), and planning skills, using the Tower of London test (TOL). Older children performed better than younger children did across tasks. Children with SLI had poorer performance, compared to typically developing children, on measures of problem representation, planning skills, and use of rules. Our results clearly indicate that executive function impairment is evident during the preschool period. Although old children with SLI performed better than young children with SLI, their performances were still poor, compared to those of control peers. These findings suggest that children with SLI have altered executive functioning at 53.6 months.
2015
Roello, Mara; Ferretti, Maria Letizia; Colonnello, Valentina; Levi, Gabriel
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/599356
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