Although a growing literature points to substantial variation in speech/language abilities related to individual differences in musical abilities, mainstream models of communication sciences and disorders have not yet incorporated these individual differences into childhood speech/language development. This article reviews three sources of evidence in a comprehensive body of research aligning with three main themes: (a) associations between musical rhythm and speech/language processing, (b) musical rhythm in children with developmental speech/language disorders and common comorbid attentional and motor disorders, and (c) individual differences in mechanisms underlying rhythm processing in infants and their relationship with later speech/language development. In light of converging evidence on associations between musical rhythm and speech/language processing, we propose the Atypical Rhythm Risk Hypothesis, which posits that individuals with atypical rhythm are at higher risk for developmental speech/language disorders. The hypothesis is framed within the larger epidemiological literature in which recent methodological advances allow for large-scale testing of shared underlying biology across clinically distinct disorders. A series of predictions for future work testing the Atypical Rhythm Risk Hypothesis are outlined. We suggest that if a significant body of evidence is found to support this hypothesis, we can envision new risk factor models that incorporate atypical rhythm to predict the risk of developing speech/language disorders. Given the high prevalence of speech/language disorders in the population and the negative long-term social and economic consequences of gaps in identifying children at-risk, these new lines of research could potentially positively impact access to early identification and treatment.

Is atypical rhythm a risk factor for developmental speech and language disorders?

Valentina Persici;
2020

Abstract

Although a growing literature points to substantial variation in speech/language abilities related to individual differences in musical abilities, mainstream models of communication sciences and disorders have not yet incorporated these individual differences into childhood speech/language development. This article reviews three sources of evidence in a comprehensive body of research aligning with three main themes: (a) associations between musical rhythm and speech/language processing, (b) musical rhythm in children with developmental speech/language disorders and common comorbid attentional and motor disorders, and (c) individual differences in mechanisms underlying rhythm processing in infants and their relationship with later speech/language development. In light of converging evidence on associations between musical rhythm and speech/language processing, we propose the Atypical Rhythm Risk Hypothesis, which posits that individuals with atypical rhythm are at higher risk for developmental speech/language disorders. The hypothesis is framed within the larger epidemiological literature in which recent methodological advances allow for large-scale testing of shared underlying biology across clinically distinct disorders. A series of predictions for future work testing the Atypical Rhythm Risk Hypothesis are outlined. We suggest that if a significant body of evidence is found to support this hypothesis, we can envision new risk factor models that incorporate atypical rhythm to predict the risk of developing speech/language disorders. Given the high prevalence of speech/language disorders in the population and the negative long-term social and economic consequences of gaps in identifying children at-risk, these new lines of research could potentially positively impact access to early identification and treatment.
developmental language disorder, dyslexia, rhythm, risk factor, specific language impairment
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1045861
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