Article  |   June 2010
Three Profiles of Language Abilities in Toddlers With an Expressive Vocabulary Delay: Variations on a Theme
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Chantal Desmarais
    Université Laval, Québec, Canada
  • Audette Sylvestre
    Université Laval, Québec, Canada
  • François Meyer
    Université Laval, Québec, Canada
  • Isabelle Bairati
    Université Laval and Direction de la Santé Publique de Québec
  • Nancie Rouleau
    Université Laval
  • Contact author: Audette Sylvestre, Départment de Réadaptation, Pavillon Ferdinand-Vandry, Université Laval, 1050, Avenue de la Médecine, Québec G1V 0A6, Canada. E-mail: audette.sylvestre@rea.ulaval.ca.
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Article   |   June 2010
Three Profiles of Language Abilities in Toddlers With an Expressive Vocabulary Delay: Variations on a Theme
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research June 2010, Vol.53, 699-709. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/07-0245)
History: Accepted 20 Aug 2009 , Received 09 Nov 2007 , Revised 18 Jun 2008
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research June 2010, Vol.53, 699-709. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/07-0245)
History: Accepted 20 Aug 2009 , Received 09 Nov 2007 , Revised 18 Jun 2008

Purpose: The presence of an expressive vocabulary delay (EVD) in the context of otherwise harmonious development has been the main criterion used to define language delay in 2-year-olds. To better understand the communicative functioning of these children, other variables must be considered. In this study, the aim was to delineate and characterize clusters of 2-year-olds with EVD by measuring other language variables in these children.

Method: Language and related variables were measured in 68 francophone children with EVD.

Results: In a cluster analysis, 2 language variables—(a) language expression and engagement in communication and (b) language comprehension—yielded 3 clusters ranging from weak language ability to high scores on both variables. Further differences were found between these clusters with regard to 2 correlates of lexical acquisition—namely, size of the expressive vocabulary and cognitive development.

Conclusion: These results shed new light on the notion of heterogeneity in toddlers who present with an EVD by proposing subgroups among them. A follow-up investigation of these participants is ongoing.

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