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Brain Injuries – Children Experience Difficulty with Language Skills and Story Telling

By David M. Baum, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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A recent study conducted at the University of Chicago revealed that children with brain injuries may have difficulty developing story-telling skills. It is estimated that 1 in 4,000 children suffer from pre- or perinatal brain lesions, a brain injury with risk factors involving both mothers and babies. In the study, which was reported in the recent issue of Developmental Science, children with brain injuries were compared with children with normal development. Each group was asked to tell a story after given a situation with a suggestive narrative. For example, “Once there was a little boy named Alan who had many different kinds of toys.” The children were prompted with questions like “Anything else?” until the children said they were done. The study found that the children with brain injuries told shorter and less complex narratives compared to the children with the typical developing children. However, each group had similar vocabulary and sentence comprehension abilities. Researches suggested the reason for the shorter and less complex narratives is that storytelling requires flexibility in word use and, therefore, may be more vulnerable to to developmental delays.

Other research has shown that a child’s storytelling abilities may potentially be boosted if he or she is engaged in conservations around narratives. Parents of a child with brain injuries should closely observe the development of their child’s storytelling abilities during the child’s preschool years. If you would like to read more on this story see Research suggests developmental delays may affect storytelling abilities in children.