Early Predictors of Language and Social Communication Impairments at Ages 9–11 Years: A Follow-Up Study of Early-Referred Children PurposeIn this study, the authors aimed to evaluate hypotheses that early sociocognition will predict later social communication and early phonology will predict later morphosyntax in clinically referred preschoolers.MethodParticipants were 108 children ages 9–11 years who had been referred to clinical services with concerns about language at age 2½–3½ years. Predictors ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2013
Early Predictors of Language and Social Communication Impairments at Ages 9–11 Years: A Follow-Up Study of Early-Referred Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shula Chiat
    City University London, United Kingdom
  • Penny Roy
    City University London, United Kingdom
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Shula Chiat: shula.chiat.1@city.ac.uk
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Sean Redmond
    Associate Editor: Sean Redmond×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 01, 2013
Early Predictors of Language and Social Communication Impairments at Ages 9–11 Years: A Follow-Up Study of Early-Referred Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2013, Vol. 56, 1824-1836. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0249)
History: Received August 8, 2012 , Revised December 13, 2012 , Accepted March 20, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2013, Vol. 56, 1824-1836. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0249)
History: Received August 8, 2012; Revised December 13, 2012; Accepted March 20, 2013

PurposeIn this study, the authors aimed to evaluate hypotheses that early sociocognition will predict later social communication and early phonology will predict later morphosyntax in clinically referred preschoolers.

MethodParticipants were 108 children ages 9–11 years who had been referred to clinical services with concerns about language at age 2½–3½ years. Predictors at Time 1 (T1) were measures of sociocognition, word/nonword repetition, and receptive language. Outcome measures at Time 3 (T3) included a social communication questionnaire completed by parents and tests of nonword repetition, morphosyntax, and receptive language.

ResultsGroup- and case-level analyses revealed early sociocognition to be the strongest predictor of social communication problems, which by T3 affected almost one third of the sample. At the group level, early phonology, which was a significant problem for the majority of children at T1, was a weak predictor of morphosyntax at T3. However, at the case level the majority of children with poor morphosyntax and nonword repetition at outcome had had very low repetition scores at T1.

ConclusionsIn early language referrals, it is important to identify and address sociocognitive problems, a considerable risk for later social communication and autism spectrum disorders. The majority of early-referred children had phonological problems, often severe, but these require further investigation to determine their longer term significance for language.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by Economic and Social Research Council Grants RES-000-23-0019 (for the initial study) and RES-000-22-4093 (for the follow-up research). We thank our research assistants in the follow-up study—Joanna Piper, Liz Elliman, and Mia Travlos—as well as our research assistants in the initial study—Talia Barry, Sophie Edgington, Renia Kaperoni, Luisa Martinez, Louise Occomore, and Sharonne Williams. We also thank the parents, teachers, and children for their participation.
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