Authors: Wolfe DL, Heilmann J
Title: Simplified and expanded input in a focused stimulation program for a child with expressive language delay (ELD)
Source: Child Language Teaching and Therapy 2010 26(3): 335-346
Year: 2010
Research Design: Single Case Design

There is considerable debate regarding the simplification of adults' language when talking to young children with expressive language delays (ELD). While simplified input, also called telegraphic speech, is used by many parents and clinicians working with young children, its use has been discouraged in much of the clinical literature. In addition to the grammatical complexity of the input, the vocabulary presented to children with ELD must be carefully considered. A growing literature has documented the power of focused stimulation, where children hear a limited number of target words presented repeatedly. After a critical review of the language input and focused stimulation literatures, the performance of a child with ELD who completed two types of focused stimulation was reported; the child completed focused stimulation in a simplified condition where the clinician produced target words in 1-2-word phrases and in an expanded condition where the clinician produced target words in naturalistic speech. While the child mastered new vocabulary in both conditions, he acquired slightly more words in the simplified input condition. The child produced more total expressive language in the expanded input condition, revealing that modifications to examiner input also impacted the child's pragmatic language use. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.

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