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Narrative production, especially personal narrative discourse, is a critical aspect of communicative competence. It is important for children in relating to peers and adults, acquiring literacy, receiving medical care, or testifying in legal situations. This article focuses on personal narratives, including their structure, development, and impairments. The Narrative Assessment Profile and high-point analysis are described to show how personal narratives can be assessed and how cultural differences can be contrasted from discourse impairments. The aim of these analyses is to show how misdiagnosis of cultural difference deficits can be prevented and how mistaking deficits in narrative production for cultural differences can be avoided. Implications for intervention are also presented.
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