Speech Perception and Motor Control in Children with Down Syndrome
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Twelve children with and without Down syndrome (DS) performed eight subtests of an apraxia battery to determine under what conditions children with DS had difficulty performing representational and nonrepresentational gestures. Participants with DS also completed a dichotic listening test. Participants with DS performed just as well as control participants on all aspects of the apraxia battery except a subtest in which they were required to pantomime tool use from verbal instruction. This suggests that children with DS have difficulty generating an action from memory following verbal instruction. Given the sufficient context or visual demonstration, children with DS performed similar to the other participants. As well, there was a great deal of within-group variability for dichotic listening ear advantage. Participants with a greater left ear advantage on the dichotic listening test committed more errors on an imitation test that also included a verbal component than participants with a greater right ear advantage.
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