Fourteen-Year Follow-Up of Children With and Without Speech/Language Impairments Speech/Language Stability and Outcomes Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1999
Fourteen-Year Follow-Up of Children With and Without Speech/Language Impairments
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carla J. Johnson
    University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Joseph H. Beitchman
    Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Arlene Young
    Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Michael Escobar
    University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Leslie Atkinson
    Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Beth Wilson
    Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • E. B. Brownlie
    Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Lori Douglas
    Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Nathan Taback
    Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Isabel Lam
    Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Min Wang
    University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Contact author: Carla J. Johnson, PhD, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 6 Queen’s Park Crescent West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3H2.
    Contact author: Carla J. Johnson, PhD, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 6 Queen’s Park Crescent West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3H2.×
  • Corresponding author: Email: carla.johnson@utoronto.ca
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1999
Fourteen-Year Follow-Up of Children With and Without Speech/Language Impairments
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1999, Vol. 42, 744-760. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4203.744
History: Received October 6, 1998 , Accepted February 4, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1999, Vol. 42, 744-760. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4203.744
History: Received October 6, 1998; Accepted February 4, 1999

This report concerns the speech and language outcomes of young adults (N = 242) who participated in a 14-year, prospective, longitudinal study of a community sample of children with (n = 114) and without (n = 128) speech and/or language impairments. Participants were initially identified at age 5 and subsequently followed at ages 12 and 19. Direct assessments were conducted in multiple domains (communicative, cognitive, academic, behavioral, and psychiatric) at all three time periods. Major findings included (a) high rates of continued communication difficulties in those with a history of impairment; (b) considerable stability in language performance over time; (c) better long-term outcomes for those with initial speech impairments than for those with language impairments; and (d) more favorable prognoses for those with specific language impairments than for those with impairments secondary to sensory, structural, neurological, or cognitive deficits. These general conclusions held when either a liberal or a more stringent criterion for language impairment was employed. Some of these findings are consistent with those from earlier follow-up studies, which used less optimal methods. Thus, the present replication and extension of these findings with a sound methodology enables greater confidence in their use for prognostic, planning, and research purposes.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Grant #6606-5639-102 from the National Health Research Development Program, Health and Welfare Canada. We thank our participants and their parents for their willing cooperation; the Royal Ottawa Hospital (particularly Sheldon Box and Barbara Jones, MD) for providing facilities and support; the Ottawa testing team of Brenda Cavanaugh, Karen Ivings, Lisa McAvoy, and Hope Harris for their dedicated and expert help; Lisa Avery, Angela Haig, Christiane Kyte, and Karen MacNeill for their assistance; and the speech-language pathologists who provided clinical judgments of language impairment.
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