Article Title

Clinical utilisation of the Infant Monitor of vocal Production (IMP) for early identification of communication impairment in young infants at-risk of cerebral palsy: A prospective cohort study


Aim: To report prospective longitudinal data of early vocaliszations of infants identified “at-risk” of cerebral palsy (CP) for early identification of communication impairment.

Method: This case-control longitudinal prospective cohort study reports on the assessment of 36 infants, 18 identified as at-risk of CP at the time of enrolment and 18 typically developing (TD) children, at three time points: 6 months, 9 months and 12 months of age, Data were obtained through criterion and norm referenced assessments of vocaliszation behaviors.

Results: Early vocal behaviors of infants identified as at-risk of CP did not differ from their age matched peers at 6 months of age, however, significant group differences emerged at 9 and 12 months when precanonical and canonical babble typically emerge. Generalized linear mixed models analysis showed that the rate of development of early language ability and more complex speech-related vocal behaviors was slower for infants at risk of CP when compared to TD infants, with over 75% of infants with CP showing below normal vocal production and impaired language by 12 months of age.

Interpretation: Our data suggest characteristics of infant vocalizations associated with pre-canonical and canonical babbling provide a strong evidence base for predicting communication outcomes in infants at risk of CP.


cerebral palsy, infant vocalizations, Infant Monitor of vocal Production, early identification, communication impairment

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