Parental Reports of Spoken Language Skills in Children With Down Syndrome Spoken language in children with Down syndrome and in children in a normative group was compared. Growth trends, individual variation, sex differences, and performance on vocabulary, pragmatic, and grammar scales as well as MaxLU (maximum length of utterance) were explored. Subjects were 330 children withDown syndrome (age range: 1–5 years) ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2001
Parental Reports of Spoken Language Skills in Children With Down Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Eva Berglund
    Department of Psychology Stockholm University Stockholm, Sweden and College of Health and Caring Sciences Falun, Sweden and Uppsala University Hospital Uppsala, Sweden
  • Mårten Eriksson
    University of Gävle Gävle, Sweden
  • Iréne Johansson
    University of Karlstad Karlstad, Sweden
  • Contact author: Eva Berglund, PhD, Uppsala University Hospital, Department of Nursing Research and Development, S-751 85, Uppsala, Sweden. Email: eva.berglund@adm.uas.lul.se
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2001
Parental Reports of Spoken Language Skills in Children With Down Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2001, Vol. 44, 179-191. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/016)
History: Received March 17, 1999 , Accepted October 20, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2001, Vol. 44, 179-191. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/016)
History: Received March 17, 1999; Accepted October 20, 2000
Web of Science® Times Cited: 47

Spoken language in children with Down syndrome and in children in a normative group was compared. Growth trends, individual variation, sex differences, and performance on vocabulary, pragmatic, and grammar scales as well as MaxLU (maximum length of utterance) were explored. Subjects were 330 children withDown syndrome (age range: 1–5 years) and 336 children in a normative group (1;4–2;4 years;months). The Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventory-words and sentences (SECDI-w&s) was employed. Performance of children with Down syndrome at ages 3;0 and 4;0 was comparable with that ofchildren in the normative group at ages 1;4 and 1;8 respectively. In comparison with children in the normative group of similar vocabulary size, children with Down syndrome lagged slightly on pragmatic and grammar scales. The early development proceeded in most cases with exponential or logistic growth. This stresses the great potential of early intervention.

Acknowledgments
The research in this paper was supported by grants from the Centre for Caring Sciences, Uppsala University; the Dalarna Research Institute; the Mayflower Foundation; the Research and Development Department of Gävleborg County Council; Falun College of Health and Caring Sciences; and the department of Caring Sciences at Gävle University. The authors are indebted to Professor Håkan Stattin at the Department of Psychology, Örebro University, for valuable methodological advice and comments on the manuscript. Professor Gunilla Preisler at the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, also provided useful comments on the manuscript; and Professor Lennart Bodin, Örebro University, helped with the statistics. Tomas Berglund, Gothenburg University, helped with coding of the data.
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