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J Learn Disabil. 2009 Jan-Feb;42(1):61-75. doi: 10.1177/0022219408326215. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Using early standardized language measures to predict later language and early reading outcomes in children at high risk for language-learning impairments.

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  • 1Rutgers University, USA.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to examine the profiles of children with a family history (FH+) of language-learning impairments (LLI) and a control group of children with no reported family history of LLI (FH-) and identify which language constructs (receptive or expressive) and which ages (2 or 3 years) are related to expressive and receptive language abilities, phonological awareness, and reading abilities at ages 5 and 7 years. Participants included 99 children (40 FH+ and 59 FH-) who received a standardized neuropsychological battery at 2, 3, 5, and 7 years of age. As a group, the FH+ children had significantly lower scores on all language measures at 2 and 3 years, on selected language and phonological awareness measures at 5 years, and on phonological awareness and nonword reading at 7 years. Language comprehension at 3 years was the best predictor of later language and early reading for both groups. These results support past work suggesting that children with a positive family history of LLI are at greater risk for future language and reading problems through their preschool and early school-age years. Furthermore, language comprehension in the early years is a strong predictor of future language-learning status.

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