‘The importance and challenges of improving early identification of language abilities: a commentary on Gasparini et al. (2023)’
Open Access paper from the JCPP
Finding early predictors of later language skills and difficulties is fraught with challenges because of the wide developmental variation in language. Gasparini et al. (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2023) aimed to address this issue by applying machine learning methods to parent reports taken from a large longitudinal database (Early Language in Victoria Study). Using this approach, they identify two short, straightforward item sets, taken at 24 and 36 months, that can adequately predict language difficulties when children are 11 years of age. Their work represents an exciting step towards earlier recognition and support for children with Developmental Language Disorder. This commentary highlights the advantages and challenges of identifying early predictors of language in this way, and discusses future directions that can build on this important contribution.
Authors: Nicola Botting, Helen Spicer-Cain
First published: 25 April 2023
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