Prelinguistic Predictors of Language Growth in Children With Developmental Disabilities This study followed 18 children with developmental disabilities, whose chronological ages were between 3 years and 6 years at the start of the study, over a 2-year period. At initial observation, children communicated primarily through prelinguistic gestures, vocalizations, and single-word utterances. Children’s language skills were measured every 6 months with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2004
Prelinguistic Predictors of Language Growth in Children With Developmental Disabilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy C. Brady
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Janet Marquis
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Kandace Fleming
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Lee McLean
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: nbrady@ku.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Normal Language Processing / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2004
Prelinguistic Predictors of Language Growth in Children With Developmental Disabilities
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2004, Vol. 47, 663-677. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/051)
History: Received May 1, 2003 , Accepted October 20, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2004, Vol. 47, 663-677. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/051)
History: Received May 1, 2003; Accepted October 20, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 48

This study followed 18 children with developmental disabilities, whose chronological ages were between 3 years and 6 years at the start of the study, over a 2-year period. At initial observation, children communicated primarily through prelinguistic gestures, vocalizations, and single-word utterances. Children’s language skills were measured every 6 months with the Sequenced Inventory of Communication Development–Revised (D. E. Hedrick, E. M. Prather, & A. R. Tobin, 1984). Prelinguistic communication rate and parental responsiveness were also measured at each observation. Development of language over time differed between participants in accordance with their entry-level communication. Hierarchical linear modeling indicated that children’s level of gestural attainment, rate of communication, and parent response contingency were significant predictors of language outcome.

KEY WORDS: communication, developmental disabilities, gesture use, pointing, responsivity

Acknowledgments
Funding for the research reported in this article was provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant PO1 HD 18955.
We thank the families that participated in this research. In addition, we thank Kathy Morris for her assistance with scheduling and testing.
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