Late-talking toddlers do grow up normallyJuly 5th, 2011 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, July 5 (IANS) Late-talking toddlers are no more likely to experience behavioural and emotional difficulties during childhood than children who have normal language development, a recent study reports.
The study is the first of its kind to track language delay from two years through to late adolescence, using data collected from the long running Raine Study.
Associate professor Andrew Whitehouse at Perth’s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research has shown that while late-talkers have increased levels of behavioural and emotional problems at two years of age, these problems tend not to continue, reports the journal Paediatrics.
“We assessed the children at two years of age and at several time-points up to 17 years and found that while the late-talkers had increased levels of psycho-social problems at age two, they were at no more risk for these problems at later ages,” said Whitehouse, according to a Telethon Institute statement.
“However, when the late-talking children ‘catch-up’ to normal language milestones - which is the case for the majority of children by school-age - the behavioural and emotional problems are no longer apparent,” he said.
The study examined 1,387 children from the Raine study, with 1,245 children achieving ‘normal’ language by two years of age and 142 being classed as late-talkers (9.9 percent).
Whitehouse said the results offer reassurance to parents of late-talkers that their language delay is not in itself a risk factor for later behavioural and emotional problems.
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Tags: 17 years, adolescence, associate professor, child health research, emotional difficulties, emotional problems, language delay, language development, late talkers, milestones, perth, professor andrew, psycho, raine, reassurance, risk factor, telethon, time points, toddlers, whitehouse