EARLY COGNITIVE, SOCIO-COGNITIVE AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDREN WITH PRE/PERINATAL BRAIN LESIONS
Children with pre/perinatal brain lesions are often considered a good example of brain plasticity, due to their better cognitive and language outcomes when compared to adults with similar impairments. However, a considerable amount of research shows that children with pre/perinatal brain lesions have lower performance than children with no neurodevelopmental risk factors on basic cognitive tasks, early language parameters, and, in the preschool and school period, on more complex language tasks. On the other hand, there is almost no literature regarding higher cognitive processes in children with pre/perinatal brain lesions. The major aim of our study is to compare a group of children with pre/perinatal brain lesions (N = 10) with a group of normally developing children at the age of 12 months, on the following dimensions: cognitive functioning (Bayley Scales of Infant Development), communicative skills (e.g. joint attention skills), language development (MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories - Croatian adaptation), and executive functions (A-not-B task). Statistical data analysis shows that children with pre/perinatal brain damage significantly differ on the dimensions of executive functions, joint attention, and cognitive and early language features.
KEYWORDS: pre/perinatal brain lesions, cognitive outcomes, socio-cognitive outcomes, language outcomes.