Early communicative behaviors and their relationship to motor skills in extremely preterm infants

Despite the predictive value of early spontaneous communication for identifying risk for later language concerns, very little research has focused on these behaviors in extremely low-gestational-age infants (ELGA <28 weeks) or on their relationship with motor development. In this study, communicative behaviors (gestures, vocal utterances and their coordination) were evaluated during mother infant play interactions in 20 ELGA infants and 20 full-term infants (FT) at 12 months (corrected age for ELGA infants). Relationships between gestures and motor skills, evaluated using the Bayley-III Scales were also examined. ELGA infants, compared with FT infants, showed less advanced communicative, motor, and cognitive skills. Giving and representational gestures were produced at a lower rate by ELGA infants. In addition, pointing gestures and words were produced by a lower percentage of ELGA infants. Significant positive correlations between gestures (pointing and representational gestures) and fine motor skills were found in the ELGA group. We discuss the relevance of examining spontaneous communicative behaviors and motor skills as potential indices of early development that may be useful for clinical assessment and intervention with ELGA infants. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Benassi, Erika
Savini, Silvia
Iverson, Jana M.
Guarini, Annalisa
Caselli, Maria Cristina
Alessandroni, Rosina
Faldella, Giacomo
Sansavini, Alessandra
Pergamon Press,, New York , Stati Uniti d'America
Research in developmental disabilities 48 (2016): 132–144. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2015.10.017
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Benassi, Erika; Savini, Silvia; Iverson, Jana M.; Guarini, Annalisa; Caselli, Maria Cristina; Alessandroni, Rosina; Faldella, Giacomo; Sansavini, Alessandra/titolo:Early communicative behaviors and their relationship to motor sk
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