Health Discoveries in Brain Injury

Story-telling ability lessened by children's brain injuries

July 30, 2010
Story-telling ability appears to be a difficulty for children with brain injuries, while other language skills such as vocabulary improve as they mature, a study at the Univesity of Chicago shows.

In a recent issue of Development Science, university researchers found that children with brain injuries known as perinatal brain lesions, or damaged tissue that generally is the result of a stroke, produced shorter, less complex stories when compared to children with typical development. But they also had similar vocabulary and sentence comprehension as the healthy group. Children in the study had a median age of six.

The research team said story-telling is a more complex activity than learning words and sentence structure and requires more flexibility in using words. As a result, it may be more vulnerable to developmental delays than other aspects of language learning. Parents of children with brain injuries can improve the children's story-telling skills by forming their conversations around narratives, particularly during pre-school years.

The study is supported with grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Brain Research Foundation.

Several developmental clinical trials related to children's health are ongoing through the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research facility of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.ADNFCR-2730-ID-19914124-ADNFCR
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