A1 Journal article – refereed

The development and predictive value of gestures in very-low-birth-weight children: A longitudinal study

List of Authors: Suvi Stolt, Anna-Mari Mäkilä, Jaakko Matomäki, Liisa Lehtonen, Helena Lapinleimu, Leena Haataja

Publication year: 2014

Journal: International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Volume number: 16

Issue number: 2

Number of pages: 11

ISSN: 1754-9507

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17549507.2013.794861


The present study analysed the development of gestures between 0;9 – 1;3 years, and the predictive value of this development for language skills at 2;0 in very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) children. Participants were 32 VLBW children and their 35 controls.The data on gestures was gathered using the Finnish version of the Communicative Development Inventory (FinCDI). At 2;0, the language skills of the children were assessed using the Reynell Developmental Language Scales (RDLS III) and the FinCDI. The number of acquired gestures was lower in the VLBW children than in the controls. The development

of gestures correlated signifi cantly with later expressive language in both groups, but signifi cant correlations between the development of gestures and later receptive language development were detected only in the VLBW group. When the predictive value of gestures and early expressive and receptive lexicon with regard to later language skills were analysed, the development of gestures at 1;3 had good predictive value for poor language performance at 2;0. In addition, a small receptive lexicon size at 1;0 and at 1;3 was also a good predictor for later language performance. The development of gestures and receptive lexicon thus jointly provide clinically valuable information on the emerging language skills of VLBW children.

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