is the use of words to convey meaning to others.
are common in people with Down syndrome, and the study authors believe their test provides a more effective way to evaluate prospective language interventions, compared to current evaluation methods.
‘Language test is suitable for most individuals with Down syndrome from 6 to 23 years old. However, researchers call for additional studies to develop other measures for those with more limited spoken language skills.’
The study was conducted by Angela Thurman, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis, and appears in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Funding was provided by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
The 107 participants in the study ranged from 6 to 23 years old, and all had an IQ of 70 or less. Researchers engaged the participants in conversation, which was recorded, transcribed and scored on the basis of talkativeness, vocabulary, sentence structure and other aspects of spoken language. Participants took the test again four weeks later.
Test scores were consistent across both versions, an indication of the test’s reliability. Similarly, scores were consistent with those of other language tests the participants took.
Participants whose language was limited to basic phrases and those who had a developmental level below 4 years of age had difficulty completing the test.
The researchers concluded the test was suitable for most individuals with Down syndrome from 6 to 23 years old, but they call for additional studies to develop other measures for those with more limited spoken language skills.