Original Research

Communication development of a young child with Foetal Renoid syndrome: A seven-year follow-up study

Alta Kritzinger, Lizanne Steenkamp
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 53, No 1 | a198 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v53i1.198 | © 2019 Alta Kritzinger, Lizanne Steenkamp | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 October 2016 | Published: 31 December 2006

About the author(s)

Alta Kritzinger, Clinic for High Risk Babies, Centre for Early Intervention in Communication Pathology, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Lizanne Steenkamp, Clinic for High Risk Babies, Centre for Early Intervention in Communication Pathology, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The aim of the article is to describe the communication development of a child with Fetal Retinoid syndrome (FRS) from six months to seven years of age. Little is known about this rare acquired syndrome and its long-term implications, especially on a child's communication development. A descriptive, ex post facto research design was used to study the participant's communication development from 1996 when the family enrolled in an early communication intervention programme. Annual serial assessments of the participant and her family were conducted and the data were stored in a research database after each assessment. The results are described according to a 4-level assessment framework and indicated consistent, but moderate to minor delays in the participant's communication development with a mild hearing loss in the right ear, associated with ear anomalies. Although prenatal exposure to isotretinoin may have serious effects on the unborn fetus and even cause death, the participant did not display all the symptoms of FRS described in the literature. The favorable family circumstances, early commencement of intervention, and supporting early educational environments were protecting factors that could have contributed positively to the participant's communication development. The importance of knowledge accumulation about rare syndromes such as FRS in Communication Pathology and Audiology is discussed and guidelines for early identification, assessment and treatment applicable to the case are proposed as an intervention option.

Keywords

Fetal Retinoid syndrome; communication development; rare syndrome; early communication intervention; longitudinal study

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