Three Profiles of Language Abilities in Toddlers With an Expressive Vocabulary Delay: Variations on a Theme

Desmarais, Chantal; Sylvestre, Audette; Meyer, François; Bairati, Isabelle; Rouleau, Nancie
June 2010
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2010, Vol. 53 Issue 3, p699
Academic Journal
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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