Verbal ability and language outcome following traumatic brain injury in early childhood

Louise M Crowe, Vicki Anderson, Sarah Barton, Franz E Babl, Cathy Catroppa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate language outcomes of TBI in preschool-aged children. Competent early language skills are pivotal for the future development of literacy skills. While previous research has reported that traumatic brain injury (TBI) places children at risk of language impairments, the majority of these studies have been conducted with school-aged children. Setting: Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Participants: Children aged 4 to 6 years who had sustained a mild (N = 19) or moderate/severe (N = 16) TBI prior to 3 years of age and a control group (N = 20) of typically developing children matched for age, gender, and socioeconomic status. MAIN MEASURES: The Wechsler Preschool and Primary School Scale of Intelligence, Third Edition, measured Verbal IQ. The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Preschool version and the Bus Story Test measured language skills. Results: More severely injured children displayed greater impairments in verbal intellectual abilities and language skills compared with children with mild TBI and uninjured children. Children with mild TBI performed similarly to children in the control group. Conclusion: Language appears vulnerable to TBI and should be investigated as a matter of course in clinical assessments of TBI recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • language
  • traumatic brain injury

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