Speech and Hearing Sciences ETDs


Marina Kartas

Publication Date



A review of the literature reveals speculation as to whether the communicative behaviors of adult aphasic patients bear some relationship to the communicative performances displayed by children. It has been purported that adult aphasic patients may regress to earlier levels of language behavior. These earlier levels have been likened to the communicative abilities of children. Although a variety of methods of assessing language abilities exist, this information is confined either to the description of adult language ability or to children's language ability but not to both. The present study, therefore, was designed:

1. to investigate the relationships between overall ability and gestural, verbal, and graphic modalities which exist in the acquisition of communicative abilities by children.

2. to provide a description of the acquisition curves for each of these modalities which exist at each age group of children from ages three to ten years.

3. to investigate the relationship between the patterns of dissolution of communicative ability in adult aphasics and the pattern of acquisition of communicative abilities in children.

4. to determine the relationships between overall performance and age, overall performance and sex, overall performance and sibling position, overall performance and grade.

One hundred and sixty children representing the ages of three to ten years and grades preschool through five were tested using the Porch Index of Communicative Abilities in Children (PICAC). Subjects were monolingual native speakers of English from middle-class socio-economic families and met screening criteria determining normality. From these data, modality acquisition curves were generated and compared to the performance curves of 180 adult aphasic patients as obtained from their performance on the Porch Index of Communicative Ability (PICA). The major findings of this study were as follows:

  1. An orderly relationship exists among overall, gestural, verbal, and graphic abilities in

the acquisition of communication by children aged three through ten years.

2. Acquisition curves were generated for the four major parameters of overall, gestural, verbal, and graphic abilities for children aged three through ten years of age.

3. The performance curves of aphasic patients were found to be similar to the acquisition curves in children with the modality acquisition curves of each sample most comparable at the upper portion of the performance curves displayed by adult aphasic patients.

4. No relationship between overall score and sibling position was evident; there was a trend for females to display a higher performance than did males; overall score and age, and thus, grade were highly significant in relationship.

Degree Name

Speech-Language Pathology

Level of Degree


Department Name

Speech and Hearing Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Bruce Earl Porch

Second Committee Member

Frederick Martin Chreist Sr.

Third Committee Member

Wayne Everett Swisher

Fourth Committee Member

Lloyd Edmond Lamb



Document Type