Effects of treatment on linguistic and social skills in toddlers with delayed language development

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 1999 Oct;42(5):1234-48. doi: 10.1044/jslhr.4205.1234.


This study investigated the effects of early language intervention on various linguistic and social skills of late-talking toddlers. The 21 children who participated in the investigation were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 11) or a control (delayed-treatment) group (n = 10). The experimental group participated in a 12-week clinician-implemented language intervention program. Groups were compared at pretest and posttest on five linguistic variables: Mean Length of Utterance, Total Number of Words, Number of Different Words, Lexical Repertoire, and Percentage of Intelligible Utterances, as well as on Socialization and Parental Stress. Significant group differences were found for each of the variables, indicating facilitative effects of the treatment. Notably, increases were observed in areas that were not specifically targeted by the intervention. Implications of these results are discussed with respect to considerations regarding clinical management decisions for toddlers with delayed language development.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Language*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Language Development Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Language Development Disorders / therapy*
  • Language Therapy / methods
  • Linguistics
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology
  • Socialization*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome