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: 2.07). 07/2003; 46(3):544-60.
Source: PubMed


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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    • "As illustrated by Law et al. (1998) a substantial proportion of difficulties experienced by children identified by specialists on the basis of expressive language delay alone were likely to be resolved spontaneously in the pre-school period. Yet as noted by Dale et al. (2003) children with expressive and receptive delay were less likely to experience a spontaneous recovery though nearly two-thirds of 'late talkers move into the normal range before pre-school, making it difficult to distinguish between transient and persistent delays. "
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    DESCRIPTION: This paper discusses the policy to practice context to the delays and difficulties in the acquisition of speech, language and communication in the first five years.
    Full-text · Research · Nov 2015
    • "Second, a member of each pair was randomly assigned to the IG and CG to achieve parallel groups. This was necessary because earlier studies (Dale et al., 2003) indicated a correlation between language development at the age of 3 and 4 years and maternal education. Opaque sealed envelopes were used for conducting the randomization process. "
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    ABSTRACT: A randomized control intervention study was conducted to evaluate the effects of the highly structured Heidelberg Parent-Based Language Intervention (HPLI). The outcomes of 43 children (n = 23 intervention, n = 20 control) who had been identified as late talkers during routine developmental check-ups carried out in pediatric practices at the age of 2 years were examined at 4 years 3 months of age. To address these results, we used standardized instruments to assess language and memory performance. At the age of 4 years, expressive language abilities did not differ as a function of the early language intervention. Results in language comprehension, phonological memory, and episodic buffer were significantly better in the intervention group than in the control group. These findings demonstrate the long-term effectiveness of the parent-based language intervention HPLI, and have practical implications for dealing with children with specific expressive language disorder (SELD).
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Early Intervention
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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.
    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2015
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