The Composition of Early Vocabulary in Spanish Children With Down Syndrome and Their Peers With Typical Development Purpose There are very few studies, and at present none in Spanish, on vocabulary composition in children with Down syndrome (DS). Nor has the topic been widely assessed in Spanish-speaking children with typical development (TD). This study analyzed the composition of early vocabularies in a large sample of Spanish-speaking children ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2016
The Composition of Early Vocabulary in Spanish Children With Down Syndrome and Their Peers With Typical Development
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elena Checa
    Universidad de Málaga, Spain
  • Miguel Galeote
    Universidad de Málaga, Spain
  • Pilar Soto
    Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Miguel Galeote: mgaleote@uma.es
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Kathryn Drager
    Associate Editor: Kathryn Drager×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2016
The Composition of Early Vocabulary in Spanish Children With Down Syndrome and Their Peers With Typical Development
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 605-619. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0095
History: Received July 3, 2015 , Revised February 17, 2016 , Accepted April 19, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 605-619. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0095
History: Received July 3, 2015; Revised February 17, 2016; Accepted April 19, 2016

Purpose There are very few studies, and at present none in Spanish, on vocabulary composition in children with Down syndrome (DS). Nor has the topic been widely assessed in Spanish-speaking children with typical development (TD). This study analyzed the composition of early vocabularies in a large sample of Spanish-speaking children with DS and compared it with that of children with TD.

Method We studied 108 children with DS and 108 children with TD with mental ages between 8 and 29 months, matched for size of productive vocabulary and gender. The MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (Fenson et al., 1993, 2007), adapted to the language development profile of children with DS, were used. The categories examined were nouns, predicates, closed-class words, and social words.

Results The performance of children with DS was similar to that of children with TD with the same vocabulary size. The only significant difference was the larger production of nouns by children with DS. The trends of development in the different classes of words were also similar.

Conclusions The strategies used by children with DS to learn vocabulary may be similar to those used by children with TD in the first stages of language learning.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) and by the European Regional Development Fund (Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional, FEDER; PSI2008-02748). The grant was awarded to Miguel Galeote. We would like to express our thanks to the children and their families, to the many therapists of the Down syndrome associations and early intervention units, and to the staff and others from the nurseries that participated in our research.
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