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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2001 Feb;44(1):179-91.

Parental reports of spoken language skills in children with Down syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Sweden. eva.berglund@adm.uas.lul.se


Spoken language in children with Down syndrome and in children in a normative group was compared. Growth trends, individual variation, sex differences, and performance on vocabulary, pragmatic, and grammar scales as well as MaxLU (maximum length of utterance) were explored. Subjects were 330 children with Down syndrome (age range: 1-5 years) and 336 children in a normative group (1;4-2;4 years;months). The Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventory-words and sentences (SECDI-w&s) was employed. Performance of children with Down syndrome at ages 3;0 and 4;0 was comparable with that of children in the normative group at ages 1;4 and 1;8 respectively. In comparison with children in the normative group of similar vocabulary size, children with Down syndrome lagged slightly on pragmatic and grammar scales. The early development proceeded in most cases with exponential or logistic growth. This stresses the great potential of early intervention.

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