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Children with Speech Delay Needed for a Genetic Study

The Speech Research Laboratory in the Center for Pediatric Auditory and Speech Sciences (CPASS) at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is recruiting children with speech delay for a research study designed to investigate genetic influences on the occurrence of speech delay. The study is part of a grant funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The PI is Dr. Jason Lilley, Assistant Research Scientist of the Speech Research Lab.

The purpose of the study is to discover whether one's genes influence how quickly they master the pronunciation of speech sounds, and if so, then which genes. Participation in this study may help us identify in advance which children will have the most difficulty learning to speak and give them the attention they need sooner.

The experiment will be conducted in our Laboratory. The procedure involves sitting in a sound-dampened room with an adult in front of a computer. Children who participate will have their hearing checked, speak words into a microphone, and identify words they hear by pointing to pictures on a computer screen. They will also be required to donate a saliva sample for DNA sequencing. The child’s parent will be paid $50 for the child's participation in one session lasting about one hour.

Participants should be between the ages of 4 and 9 years old and be diagnosed with difficulty producing speech sounds. All participants must have normal hearing, and be monolingual speakers of American English. If you know of anyone who might qualify, please have them contact Dorothy Kennedy by phone at 302-651-6454 or by email at

For questions regarding the rights of research patients call the Nemours Office of Human Subjects Protection: 302-298-7613 or 800-767-5437.