The Effects of Literate Narrative Intervention on Children with Neurologically-Based Language Impairments: An Early Stage Study.

D B. Petersen
Sandra L. Gillam, Utah State University
T Spencer
R B. Gillam, Utah State University

Published by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in the Journal of Speech, Language, Hearing Research. Publisher PDF is available through link above. Publisher requires a subscription to access article.


Purpose: This study investigated the effect of a literate narrative intervention on the macrostructural and microstructural language features of the oral narratives of 3 children with neuromuscular impairment and co-morbid receptive and expressive language impairment.

Method: Three children, ages 6-8 years, participated in a multiple baseline across participants and language features study. The 3 participants engaged in 10 individual literate narrative intervention sessions following staggered baseline trials. Assessment probes eliciting picture- and verbally prompted narratives were recorded and analyzed.

Results: All three children demonstrated gains in the use of story grammar (macrostructure) and causality (microstructure), with moderate to large effect sizes based on percentage of nonoverlapping data points. Gains were seen in both picture-prompted narratives that were the direct focus of intervention and in verbally prompted narratives that served as a measure of generalization. Other features of microstructure not explicitly targeted during intervention increased in the narratives produced by the participants. Additionally, follow-up data collected 8 months after intervention indicated the maintenance of some skills over time.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that literate narrative intervention may be useful for improving children's functional use of narrative macrostructure and microstructure, including literate language.