Research: Early Identification & Intervention for Communication Delays & Disorders
Conner J, Kelly-Vance L, Ryalls B, Friehe M. A play and language intervention for two-year-old children: implications for improving play skills and language. Journal of Research in Childhood Education. 2014; 28(2): 221-37.
Results of this study show that typically-developing two-year-old children who received play and language intervention over a four-week period increased pretend play, comprehension skills, and expressive communication skills more than children in the control group.
Council on Children with Disabilities, Section on Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Bright Futures Steering Committee, and Medical Home Initiatives for Children with Special Needs Project Advisory Committee. Identifying infants and young children with developmental disorders in the medical home: An algorithm for developmental surveillance and screening. Pediatrics. 2006; 118(1): 405-420.
This article provides health professionals with a strategy for identifying infants and young children with developmental difficulties. The authors recommend incorporating developmental surveillance methods at every well-child visit, addressing concerns raised during surveillance with standardized developmental screening tests, and administering routine screening tests at the 9, 18, and 30 month visits.
Eadie AP, Ukoumunne O, Skeat J, Prior MR, Bavin E, Bretherton L, Reilly S. Assessing early communication behaviours: structure and validity of the Communication and Symbolic Behaviour Scales – Developmental Profile (CSBS-CP) in 12-month-old infants. Int J Lang Commun Disord.2010; 45(5): 572-595.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS-DP) in 12-month old infants. Authors concluded that the Infant-Toddler Checklist and Behavior Sample were valid clinical tools for measuring communication skills in this population.
Ellis EM, Thal DJ. Early language delay and risk for language impairment. Perspect Lang Learn Educ. 2008; 15(3): 93-100.
This review addresses the diagnostic challenge posed by late talkers, who may or may not eventually catch up to their peers. Findings from this study suggest that children with a family history of language impairment, a delay in both vocabulary comprehension and production, and little to no use of non-verbal communication are at the greatest risk for continued language delay.
Fagan MK, Montgomery TR. Managing referrals for children with receptive language delay. Clin Pediatr. 2009; 48(1): 362-368.
Results from this study indicate that young children’s receptive language scores may predict cognitive performance. The authors recommend considering a referral for additional cognitive evaluation for children whose receptive language standard scores fall below 85.
Feldman HM. Evaluation and management of language and speech disorders in preschool children. Pediatr Rev. 2005; 26: 131-142.
Pediatric providers play a key role in the detection, evaluation, and management of children with language delays and disorders. For children with significant delays, the authors recommend a full audiologic assessment, a comprehensive developmental assessment for those with additional cognitive or social difficulties, or a speech-language evaluation for children who have no other difficulties.
Gulsrud A, Hellemann G, Freeman S, Kasari C. Two to ten years: developmental trajectories of joint attention in children with ASD who received targeted social communication interventions. Autism Research. 2014: 7(2); 207-15.
Study of 40 children in a randomized controlled early intervention trial from early childhood (2-5 years) to elementary school age (8-10 years). Children grouped by diagnosis at last follow-up. Results showed that joint attention skills increased over time, and pointing to shared interest increased over the first year measured and decreased thereafter. Study highlights longitudinal and developmental importance of measures of early core deficits in autism, and suggests that both treatment and ASD symptomatology may influence growth in these skills over time.
Herbert M, Kehayia E, Prelock P, Wood-Cauphinee S, Snider L. Does occupational therapy play a role for communication in children with autism spectrum disorders? International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 2014: (online only).
Study examines how occupational therapists can work with children with ASD to become better communicators. The research finds 3 roles of occupational therapy : developing non-verbal and verbal communication pre-requisites, adapting the setting, educating-partnering-advocating for the child, and providing occupation-based intervention.
Moeller MP. Early intervention and language development in children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Pediatrics. 2000; 106(3): 1-9.
This study examined the relationship between age of enrollment in intervention programs and language outcomes at 5 years of age in children with hearing loss. Findings suggest that both early enrollment in intervention and active family involvement are associated with better language scores in this population.
Nathani S, Ertmer DJ, Stark RE. Assessing vocal development in infants and toddlers. Clin Linguistic Phon. 2006; 20(5): 351-369.
The purpose of this study was to examine changes in vocal production in the first 20 months of life. The infant vocalizations were grouped into five levels using the Stark Assessment of Early Vocal Development-Revised (SAEVD-R), and the findings demonstrate that the SAEVD-R is a valuable tool for evaluating early vocal development.
Roberts M, Kaiser A. The effectiveness of parent-implemented language interventions: A meta-analysis. Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2011; 20: 180-199.
This meta-analysis evaluated the effects of parent-implemented language interventions in language-impaired children between 18 and 60 months of age. Based on a review of 18 studies, authors found that parent-implemented interventions have a significant and positive impact on children’s receptive and expressive language skills.
Sachse S, Suchodoletz WV. Early identification of language delay by direct language assessment or parent report? J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2008; 29(1): 34-41.
The goal of this study was to compare the accuracy of parent reports and direct language assessments for the early identification of children with language delays. Findings from the study indicated that parent report measurements were comparable to those of direct language assessments, and there were no significant differences in accuracy concerning the prediction of language delays in children by age 3.
Webb, SJ, Jones EJ, Kelly J, Dawson G. The motivation for very early intervention for infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorders. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 2014: 16(1); 36-42.
Researchers designed an intervention to promote early social development in order to steer brain development back toward the normal trajectory and remit or reduce the expression of ASD symptoms. Additional evidence is needed to evaluate treatment models. *when* to intervene is an unsolved issue in ASD research.
Zimmerman IL, Castilleja NF. The role of a language scale for infant and preschool assessment. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2005; 11: 238–246.
The Preschool Language Scale (PLS-4) is used to assess developmental language patterns in children from birth to 6 years 11 months. This study confirms that the PLS-4 is a valuable tool to 1) identify current receptive and expressive language skills and 2) measure changes in language skills over time.