Recently released findings in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders tested expressive language sampling (ELS) among children with Down syndrome.
107 participants diagnosed with the condition, ranging from early childhood to early adulthood, were recruited.
“The utility of ELS procedures designed to collect samples of spoken language in conversation and narration were evaluated separately. Variables of talkativeness, vocabulary, syntax, utterance planning, and articulation quality, derived from transcripts segmented into C-units (i.e., an independent clause and its modifiers), were considered,” the study reads.
“A 4-week interval was used to assess practice effects and test-retest reliability. Standardized direct assessments and informant report measures were collected to evaluate construct validity of the ELS variables.”
According to researchers, the expressive language sampling procedures they followed were appropriate and led to variables with relevant psychometric properties for most patients with Down syndrome in both age groups studied.
“That said, studies of outcome measures appropriate for individuals with DS with more limited spoken language skills are needed. Context differences were observed in ELS variables suggest that comprehensive evaluation of expressive language is likely best obtained when utilizing both contexts,” researchers concluded in the study.