Article

Outcomes of early language delay: I. Predicting persistent and transient language difficulties at 3 and 4 years.

Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Missouri-Columbia, 65211, USA.
Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research (Impact Factor: 1.93). 07/2003; 46(3):544-60.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Parent-based assessments of vocabulary, grammar, nonverbal ability, and use of language to refer to post and future (displaced reference) were obtained for 8,386 twin children at 2 years of age. Children with 2 year vocabulary scores below the 10th centile were designated the early language delay (ELD) group, and their outcomes at 3 and 4 years were contrasted with the remainder of the sample, the typical language (TL) group. At 3 and 4 years old, children were designated as language impaired if their scores fell below the 15th centile on at least 2 of the 3 parent-provided language measures: vocabulary, grammar, and use of abstract language. At 3 years, 44.1% of the ELD group (as compared to 7.2% of the TL group) met criteria for persistent language difficulties, decreasing slightly to 40.2% at 4 years (as compared to 8.5% of the TL group), consistent with previous reports of frequent spontaneous resolution of delayed language in preschoolers. Although relations between language and nonverbal abilities at 2 years and outcome at 3 and 4 years within the ELD group were highly statistically significant, effect sizes were small, and classification of outcome on the basis of data on 2-year-olds was far too inaccurate to be clinically useful. Children whose language difficulties persisted were not necessarily those with the most severe initial difficulties. Furthermore, measures of parental education and the child's history of ear infections failed to substantially improve the prediction.

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Available from: Philip S Dale, Jan 24, 2015
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    • "For instance, substantial proportions of late talkers have been reported to spontaneously overcome their language learning difficulties completely (e.g. Dale et al., 2003; Rescorla et al., 2000). In contrast, a series of research findings attest to late talkers' continuing speech and language difficulties through the preschool years (see Paul & Roth, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Limited expressive vocabulary skills in young children are considered to be the first warning signs of a potential Specific Language Impairment (SLI) (Ellis & Thal, 2008). In bilingual language learning environments, the expressive vocabulary size in each of the child's developing languages is usually smaller compared to the number of words produced by monolingual peers (e.g. De Houwer, 2009). Nonetheless, evidence shows children's total productive lexicon size across both languages to be comparable to monolingual peers' vocabularies (e.g. Pearson et al., 1993; Pearson & Fernández, 1994). Since there is limited knowledge as to which level of bilingual vocabulary size should be considered as a risk factor for SLI, the effects of bilingualism and language-learning difficulties on early lexical production are often confounded. The compilation of profiles for early vocabulary production in children exposed to more than one language, and their comparison across language pairs, should enable more accurate identification of vocabulary delays that signal a risk for SLI in bilingual populations. These considerations prompted the design of a methodology for assessing early expressive vocabulary in children exposed to more than one language, which is described in the present chapter. The implementation of this methodological framework is then outlined by presenting the design of a study that measured the productive lexicons of children aged 24-36 months who were exposed to different language pairs, namely Maltese and English, Irish and English, Polish and English, French and Portuguese, Turkish and German as well as English and Hebrew. These studies were designed and coordinated in COST Action IS0804 Working Group 3 (WG3) and will be described in detail in a series of subsequent publications. Expressive vocabulary size was measured through parental report, by employing the vocabulary checklist of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory: Words and Sentences (CDI: WS) (Fenson et al., 1993, 2007) and its adaptations to the participants' languages. Here we describe the novelty of the study's methodological design, which lies in its attempt to harmonize the use of vocabulary checklist adaptations, together with parental questionnaires addressing language exposure and developmental history, across participant groups characterized by different language exposure variables. This chapter outlines the various methodological considerations that paved the way for meaningful cross-linguistic comparison of the participants' expressive lexicon sizes. In so doing, it hopes to provide a template for and encourage further research directed at establishing a threshold for SLI risk in children exposed to more than one language.
    Assessing multilingual children: Disentangling bilingualism from language impairment, 1st edited by Sharon Armon-Lotem, Jan de Jong, Natalia Meir, 01/2015: chapter Using parent report to assess early lexical production in children exposed to more than one language: pages 151-195; Multingual Matters., ISBN: 978-1-78309-213-0
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    • "Moreover, some very early language assessments (at age 18– 24 months) have shown poor sensitivity and specificity in predicting language outcomes only a year later. Some 2-year-olds turn out to be " late bloomers, " and a fair proportion of others who had age-appropriate language at age 2 meet the criteria for language delay at age 3 (Dale et al., 2003; Henrichs et al., 2011). One option is to begin testing a little later, around 3 years of age, and follow up with subsequent testing of oral and written language proficiency thereafter. "
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    Frontiers in Psychology 08/2012; 3:324. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00324 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "Analogously, the absence of an early delay had strong negative predictive value (42 of 46, 87.5%), since relatively few children classified as TD fell below the 20 th percentile one year later. However, as in previous studies (e.g., Dale et al., 2003), many children with late-onset vocabulary improved over this 12-month period, indicating that LT status at 18 months, considered on its own, has low positive predictive value (14 of 36; 39%) as a marker for persistent language delay. "
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    ABSTRACT: Using online measures of familiar word recognition in the looking-while-listening procedure, this prospective longitudinal study revealed robust links between processing efficiency and vocabulary growth from 18 to 30 months in children classified as typically developing (n = 46) and as "late talkers" (n = 36) at 18 months. Those late talkers who were more efficient in word recognition at 18 months were also more likely to "bloom," showing more accelerated vocabulary growth over the following year, compared with late talkers less efficient in early speech processing. Such findings support the emerging view that early differences in processing efficiency evident in infancy have cascading consequences for later learning and may be continuous with individual differences in language proficiency observed in older children and adults.
    Child Development 12/2011; 83(1):203-22. DOI:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01692.x · 4.92 Impact Factor
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