No AccessJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing ResearchResearch Article1 Jun 2010

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

    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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