Development of Pointing Gestures in Children With Typical and Delayed Language Acquisition Purpose This longitudinal study compared the development of hand and index-finger pointing in children with typical language development (TD) and children with language delay (LD). First, we examined whether the number and the form of pointing gestures during the second year of life are potential indicators of later LD. Second, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
Development of Pointing Gestures in Children With Typical and Delayed Language Acquisition
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carina Lüke
    TU Dortmund University, Germany
  • Ute Ritterfeld
    TU Dortmund University, Germany
  • Angela Grimminger
    Paderborn University, Germany
  • Ulf Liszkowski
    University of Hamburg, Germany
  • Katharina J. Rohlfing
    Paderborn University, Germany
  • 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 Carina Lüke: carina.lueke@tu-dortmund.de
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird
    Associate Editor: Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
Development of Pointing Gestures in Children With Typical and Delayed Language Acquisition
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3185-3197. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0129
History: Received April 1, 2016 , Revised August 17, 2016 , Accepted April 27, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3185-3197. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0129
History: Received April 1, 2016; Revised August 17, 2016; Accepted April 27, 2017

Purpose This longitudinal study compared the development of hand and index-finger pointing in children with typical language development (TD) and children with language delay (LD). First, we examined whether the number and the form of pointing gestures during the second year of life are potential indicators of later LD. Second, we analyzed the influence of caregivers' gestural and verbal input on children's communicative development.

Method Thirty children with TD and 10 children with LD were observed together with their primary caregivers in a seminatural setting in 5 sessions between the ages of 12 and 21 months. Language skills were assessed at 24 months.

Results Compared with children with TD, children with LD used fewer index-finger points at 12 and 14 months but more pointing gestures in total at 21 months. There were no significant differences in verbal or gestural input between caregivers of children with or without LD.

Conclusions Using more index-finger points at the beginning of the second year of life is associated with TD, whereas using more pointing gestures at the end of the second year of life is associated with delayed acquisition. Neither the verbal nor gestural input of caregivers accounted for differences in children's skills.

Acknowledgments
This project was funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft awarded to Ute Ritterfeld (RI 898/6-1), Katharina J. Rohlfing (RO 2443/3-1), and Ulf Liszkowski (LI 1989/2-1). This research was approved by the internal review board of the University of Münster (2011-517-f-S) on November 3, 2011. We are grateful to all the families for participating in the study.
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