15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Speech Perception of Young Children at Risk for Dyslexia and Children with Specific Language Impairment

Ellen Gerrits

University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands

The present study investigated the relationship between dyslexia and specific language impairment (SLI) by comparing the speech perception of 3-year-old children with a genetic risk for developing dyslexia and children with SLI. Speech perception was studied with two listening tasks, a phoneme identification task with minimally differing word pairs, and a categorical perception task with a stimulus continuum between a stop-consonant contrast and a vowel contrast. Results demonstrated that both the at-risk group en SLI group had more difficulty with the identification and categorisation of speech sounds than the control group. The findings support the view that dyslexia and SLI might be caused by the same underlying speech perception deficit. This study further shows that the perceptual performance of the at-risk children is highly similar to that of older dyslexic children and adults and therefore might be an early sign of the inherited disorder.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gerrits, Ellen (2003): "Speech perception of young children at risk for dyslexia and children with specific language impairment", In ICPhS-15, 2357-2360.