BACKGROUND: To date very few studies have investigated the musical skills of children with specific language impairment (SLI). There is growing evidence that SLI affects areas other than language, and it is therefore reasonable to hypothesize that children with this disorder may have difficulties in perceiving musical stimuli appropriately. AIMS: To compare melody and song identification skills in a group of children with SLI and in a control group of children with typical language development (TD); and to study possible correlations between music identification skills and language abilities in the SLI group. METHODS & PROCEDURES: This is a prospective case control study. Two groups of children were enrolled: one meeting DSM-IV-TR(®) diagnostic criteria for SLI and the other comprising an age-matched group of children with TD. All children received a melody and a song identification test, together with a test battery assessing receptive and productive language abilities. OUTCOMES & RESULTS: 30 children with SLI (mean age = 56 ± 9 months) and 23 with TD (mean age = 60 ± 10 months) were included. Melody and song identification scores among SLI children were significantly lower than those of TD children, and in both groups song identification scores were significantly higher than melody identification scores. Song identification skills bore a significant correlation to chronological age in both groups (TD: r = 0.529, p = 0.009; SLI: r = 0.506, p = 0.004). Whereas no other variables were found explaining the variability of melody or song identification scores in either group, the correlation between language comprehension and song identification in the SLI group approached significance (r = 0.166, p = 0.076). CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: The poorer music perception skills of SLI children as compared with TD ones suggests that SLI may also affect music perception. Therefore, training programmes that simultaneously stimulate via language and music may prove useful in the rehabilitation of children affected by SLI.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION DISORDERS|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- specific language impairment (SLI)