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Maze Production in Children with Mental Retardation

Author Affiliations

  • 1Dr. MVST College, Mangalore University, Mangalore, India
  • 2School of Allied Health Science, Manipal University, Manipal, India
  • 3Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist, Speranza, Mangalore, India

Res. J.  Language and Literature Humanities, Volume 3, Issue (6), Pages 1-7, June,19 (2016)


Mazes are defined as these normal dysfluencies in speech of an individual. It can be in words, or any unattached fragment of a spoken utterance. Mazes are those utterances which do not contribute any meaning to the ongoing flow of language. Maze types and frequency are considered as a significant diagnostic indicator to judge language impairments. It provides a clear view of language competency in typically developing children and children with mental retardation. Thereby, the present study focuses on comparison of types and percentage of maze words over total words, produced by children with intellectual disability across language age-matched TD children. The results indicated an overall higher percentage of mazes in children with mental retardation compared to typically developing children, thus signifying a poorer flow of language. The control group, however, produced an improved narrative and thus a better control over language. This implies disfluencies can occur when a child the demands for speech fluency disfluencies are not met (Starkweather, Gottwald, & Halfond, 1990) either in the form of stuttering or increased mazes (deJoy & Gregory, 1985). The study concludes that children with mental retardation possess a less developed linguistic system and thus employ limited processing strategies in formation of speech, its monitoring and any type of repair in language so as to meet the demands of story narration.


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