Core vocabulary of young children with Down syndrome

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TitleCore vocabulary of young children with Down syndrome
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThe aim of this study was to develop a core vocabulary list for young children with intellectual disabilities between 2 and 7 years of age because data from this population are lacking in core vocabulary literature. Children with Down syndrome are considered one of the most valid reference groups for researching developmental patterns in children with intellectual disabilities; therefore, spontaneous language samples of 30 Dutch children with Down syndrome were collected during three different activities with multiple communication partners (free play with parents, lunch- or snack-time at home or at school, and speech therapy sessions). Of these children, 19 used multimodal communication, primarily manual signs and speech. Functional word use in both modalities was transcribed. The 50 most frequently used core words accounted for 67.2% of total word use; 16 words comprised core vocabulary, based on commonality. These data are consistent with similar studies related to the core vocabularies of pre-schoolers and toddlers with typical development, although the number of nouns present on the core vocabulary list was higher for the children in the present study. This finding can be explained by manual sign use of the children with Down syndrome and is reflective of their expressive vocabulary ages.
AuthorsDeckers, S., van Zaalen Y., van Balkom H., and Verhoeven L.
Year of Publication2017
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOI
Keywords (MeSH)child, Down syndrome, intellectual disability, language, manual communication, parents, speech therapy, vocabulary