What is it about?

Children who show a language delay at 18 months of age and yet again at 5 years of age are at risk of language and academic difficulties (e.g., in numeracy), as well as psychosocial difficulties (e.g., hyperactivity, inattention, externalizing behaviours, peer difficulties) throughout elementary school. Children who show a language delay at 18 months of age but who catch up with their peers by 5 years of age do not appear to have language or academic difficulties in elementary school; however, they do seem to have psychosocial difficulties, such as externalizing behaviours and peer difficulties, at the beginning of elementary school.

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Why is it important?

Our findings suggest that clinicians should consider children with language delay differently if their language delay is persistent in time or not. Indeed, children with persistent language delay are at risk of a wide range of difficulties in elementary school years, whereas children with shorter-term language delay may only be at risk of psychosocial difficulties. Furthermore, early interventions to prevent language delay persistence should be a priority to limit the wide range of difficulties associated with children with persistent language delay.

Perspectives

This work uses measures of language I developed during my doctoral studies. It is great to see how my work can be reused by others to answer new and important research questions.

Dr Catherine Mimeau
Université TÉLUQ

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This page is a summary of: Children With Persistent Versus Transient Early Language Delay: Language, Academic, and Psychosocial Outcomes in Elementary School, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, November 2020, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/2020_jslhr-20-00230.
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