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By Kay Mogford and Jane Sadler (Editors)

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Extra info for Child Language Disability: Volume I: Implications in an Educational Setting

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Studying the language development of pre-schoolers, Wells (1986) found that in a sample of 'normal' four-year-olds the difference between the most and least advanced children was 3036 months. In addition to studies of rate of development, there has been interest in the variation in route of development. For example, Nelson (1978) found that children differed in the content of their early vocabulary. In this study one group of children had vocabularies mainly comprising words for objects, whereas another < previous page page_31 next page > < previous page page_32 next page > Page 32 group used fewer object labels but more pronouns, modifiers and personalsocial expressions.

Fifteen familiar and fifteen nonsense monosyllable word pairs, comprising cluster reversals (lots/lost, vost/vots) and the same number of word pairs without clusters (loss/lot, vos/vot) were randomly presented to the children. On the non-cluster word condition all the children were at ceiling. However, the dyspraxic children performed less well on the cluster reversal condition with a specific deficit on nonword items. Their performance cannot be explained by auditory perception alone since they were at ceiling on the non-cluster word condition.

A large number of pre-school language screening tests are developed by individual health authorities for their own purposes. Due to constraints on personnel, time and money these tests are rarely evaluated. Yet without evaluation it is impossible to assess the effectiveness of the test in terms of specificity and sensitivity. < previous page page_35 next page > < previous page page_36 next page > Page 36 During the second stage of development Leicester Polytechnic became involved with the construction of SLPS.

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