Perinatal Stroke

SPPA 304 ~ Cristina Giacobbe


  • A perinatal stroke is a brain injury that occurs between twenty-eight weeks gestation to twenty-eight days after birth.
  • 1 in 4000 births
  • Risk Factors: gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, placental abnormalities, maternal history of infertility and complications during birth.

As A Result:

Children may also develop:

  • Epilepsy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Behavioral Issues

25% of children with a perinatal stroke experience a language delay or difficulty.

How It Relates:

Due to the stroke, as well as the other disorders, children experience issues with receptive and expressive language.

In a study conducted by Ballantyne, Spilkin and Trauner from the University of California, children ages 5-16 were given the standardized CELF-R test. The children who experienced perinatal strokes received low average or below average scores in receptive and expressive language subtests.

  • Receptive: word class, semantic relationships, and oral directions.
  • Expressive: word structure, formulated sentences, sentence assembly and recalling sentences.

Children who had a history of seizures due to the stroke had lower scores than the children who did not, neither as high as the typically developing children.


  • Early intervention is key!
  • fMRI : helps increase neural activity during cognitive tasks (e.g. language)

Depending on the accompanying disorder, the therapy options may change.

  • Augmentative communication devices
  • Storyboards
  • Hand gestures

If accompanied by another disorder, other services may be required.