Speech Disruptions in the Narratives of African American Children With Reading Disabilities



The influence of speech disruptions on the syntax and reading skills of African American children with reading disabilities (RD) was examined. This retrospective study involved analysis of audio-tapes of narratives produced by 24 fourth-grade children from a previous investigation represented by children with RD and children with typical reading (TR). Transcribed narratives were coded for speech disruptions of revisions and pauses. Correlation and multiple regression statistics were used to identify relationships between reading comprehension scores, syntax, and speech disruptions. Results indicated that pauses showed a negative relationship to syntax and reading while revisions yielded a positive relationship to these variables. Participants with RD demonstrated significantly more silent pauses than children with TR. Silent pauses in oral narratives may be a potential clinical indicator for reading problems. Further studies are needed of silent pauses in oral narratives of children with RD.


Speech disruptions African American Children Narratives Reading disabilities 


Author Note

The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation to all of the parents and children who agreed to participate in this investigation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Audiology, Speech Language Pathology, and Deaf StudiesTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

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