Three profiles of language abilities in toddlers with an expressive vocabulary delay: variations on a theme.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Speech Lang Hear Res, Volume 53, Issue 3, p.699-709 (2010)


Analysis of Variance, Child Development, Child Language, Child, Preschool, Cluster Analysis, Cognition, Communication, Comprehension, Female, Humans, Infant, Language, Language Development Disorders, Language Tests, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Speech Perception


<p><b>PURPOSE: </b>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.</p><p><b>METHOD: </b>Language and related variables were measured in 68 francophone children with EVD.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>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.</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>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.</p>

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