Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Committee Chair

Amanda Seidl

Committee Member 1

Laurence Leonard

Committee Member 2

Françoise Brousseau-Lapré


Purpose: There are few clinical tools available to productively assess comprehension in children under 20 months. The Computerized Comprehension Task (CCT) is a valid and reliable measure (Friend and Keplinger, 2003), but it has never been studied in children who are at risk for speech and language disorders. This study seeks to measure the effectiveness of the CCT in assessing high risk infants and evaluate the relationship between scores on the CCT and performance on a standardized language measure 6 months later. Method: Eleven high risk infants (categorized as “high risk” for genetic risk factors or pre-term birth) and eleven matched peers (14-24 months) completed standardized and non-standardized tests of speech and language at two time points six months apart. Performance on tasks was compared between risk groups and between assessment measures. Results: Performance on the CCT was significantly correlated with standardized receptive language measures, and high risk infants performed differently than their low-risk peers. The CCT was also significantly correlated with language production 6 months later. Conclusions: The CCT is an effective measure of comprehension for high risk infants, and CCT scores are related to language production outcomes six months later.