Predicting poor-communication status in preschool children using risk factors present at birth

J Speech Hear Res. 1991 Oct;34(5):1096-105. doi: 10.1044/jshr.3405.1096.


The speech and language status of 662 children between the ages of 30 months and 5 years was determined through the use of parent report information. Twelve of these children were reported by their parents to have been diagnosed as having a speech-language disorder, and 50 of these children were found to be at or below the 10th percentile in language development for children of their age. Information about family background and birth history obtained when these children were born was evaluated with respect to its power to predict speech-language status in these preschool children. A set of risk criteria was found to accurately predict 55% of those children with poor communication skills and 76% of those with normal communication development. This prediction was improved by the addition of data about the child's birth order. These results suggest that programs of preschool identification should consider the inclusion of a registry of children who are at risk for a communication disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Order
  • Child Language
  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Hearing Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Disorders / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Language Development Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Language Development Disorders / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Speech Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Speech Disorders / epidemiology