Prosody in Children with Atypical Development

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Book Chapter

Publication Date



Atypicalities of communication development are among the most common developmental disabilities. As an aspect of communication, prosody is frequently affected in children with atypical development, sometimes as one concomitant of a primary disorder and, in rarer cases, as a prominent feature of the communication profile. This chapter reviews four developmental disorders in which prosody is frequently impaired: autism spectrum disorder, developmental language disorder, cerebral palsy, and hearing loss. Brief descriptions of the impact of each of these disorders on communicative function will be presented. Effects on prosody, including prevalence of prosodic dysfunction within each disorder and the perceptual and acoustic characteristics of the associated prosodic deficits, will be explored. Strategies for assessing and treating prosodic deficits in current clinical use will be outlined. Discussion will focus on potential a etiologies for the observed prosodic deficits, using data from behavioural, genetic, neuroimaging, and electrophysiologic studies, as well as the interpretation of findings on prosodic atypicalities in light of current linguistic, psycholinguistic, and neurolinguistic understanding of language function. Recommendations for further research on the characteristics, assessment, and treatment of prosodic disorders in developmental disabilities will be provided.


Chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Language Prosody.


The Oxford handbook of language prosody


Oxford University Press