A clinical rationale for assessing rapid automatized naming in children with language disorders

J Learn Disabil. Jul-Aug 2000;33(4):359-74. doi: 10.1177/002221940003300407.


Three continuous rapid naming tasks (Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 1995) were administered to 2,450 American, English-speaking, academically achieving individuals with typical language development and intellectual ability (ages 6 to 21 years) and 136 individuals with primary language disorders (LD; ages 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 15-16). Naming time in seconds differed significantly (p < .01) between the groups for color naming (Task 1) at age 12, shape naming (Task 2) at age 6, and color-shape naming (Task 3) at ages 6, 7, 9, and 12. Naming accuracy did not differ significantly (p > .01) between groups at the majority of the age levels compared. In the normative group, naming speed increased with age in a monotonic progression. The developmental trajectory in the LD group was essentially parallel, but elevated. The percentages of individuals who failed the naming-time criteria for Task 3 (color-shape naming) differed significantly in the two groups at all ages compared (p < .05). These findings indicate that the requirements for two-dimensional, continuous naming (Task 3 color-shape naming) resulted in reduced naming speed (longer total times) and interference with fluency in language production in about half of the clinical sample.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Automation
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Development*
  • Language Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Reaction Time
  • Semantics*
  • Task Performance and Analysis