Language Outcomes of Late Talking Children: A Longitudinal Study from Two to Seven Years of Age

[Speaker] Liu, Huei-mei:1
[Co-author] Wu, Ming-yu:1, Tsao, Feng-ming:2
1:National Taiwan Normal University, Department of Special Education (Taiwan), 2:National Taiwan University, Department of Psychology (Taiwan)

The language delay in late-talking toddlers could lead to slower acquisition and lower performance in language related skills into adolescence. This study followed two groups of late-talking and typically-developing toddlers at age 2;0 up to 7;0 to examine their language outcomes and potential predictors of language outcomes. 42 Mandarin-speaking Late Talkers who exhibit significant delays in expressive language at 2;0, and 47 age-matched typically-developing children participated in this study. Various measures of language abilities were assessed at 24, 36, 48, 60 and 72 months. The results show that, as a group, late talkers performed significantly lower than age-matched peers on most of language skills measured at age 7, including receptive and expressive language abilities, speech clarity, nonword repetition, and morphological awareness. Several hierarchical regression models indicated that after controlling for non-verbal IQ,language comprehension and speech clarity measured at age 2 were predictive of language outcomes later at age 7.
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