Children who have had brain injuries find it hard to develop story-telling skills, states a new study, although they do catch up with their peers in other language skills as they grow older.
"Our findings suggest that there may be limitations to the remarkable flexibility for language functions displayed by children with brain injuries," said Ozlem Ece Demir, a researcher at the University of Chicago and lead author of a paper reporting the research.
It is estimated that 1 in 4,000 infant has a brain injury known as c, mainly as a result of stroke, with risk factors involving both mothers and babies.
For the study on story-telling, the team compared 11 children with brain injuries had a median age of six and included eight girls and three boys.
The 20-member group of typically developing children included 11 girls and nine boys of approximately the same age as the children with brain injuries.
The children were asked to tell a story after given a situation that suggested a narrative, such as, "Once there was a little boy named Alan who had many different kinds of toys." They were prompted by questions such as "anything else?" until the children said they were done.
The study found that the children with brain injuries produced shorter, less complex stories than typically developing children.
Further testing showed that the children with brain injuries had similar vocabulary and sentence comprehension abilities to the typically developing children.
Their findings are reported in "Narrative Skill in children with Early Unilaterail Brain Injury: A possible limit to Functional Plasticity" the paper, in the current issue of Developmental Science.