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New Tool helps measure Communication Development in Youth

Expressive language sampling is a useful tool for measuring Communication Development in youth with down syndrome. The study, co-led by Angela Thurman and Leonard Abbeduto from the UC Davis Mind Institute and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, focused on language as an outcome measure to detect meaningful changes in communication skills.

It successfully tested and verified ELS as a reliable set of procedures for collecting, measuring, and analyzing the spoken language of participants. Down syndrome is the significant factor that causes intellectual disabilities. If we look at the birth patterns we would find the exact indication of how servers it is. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is contracted with Down Syndrome.Individuals with Down syndrome generally lack the promptness of speech and language which affects their independence and community inclusion severely. What is compelling is that despite overhauling breakthroughs in combating the syndrome there hasn’t been much of a difference in youth’s ability.

Interventions leading to improvements in the language would have great impacts on the quality of life of individuals with Down syndrome. To develop and evaluate such interventions, we need a validated measurement tool and ELS provides that.” said Leonard Abbeduto, Director, UC Davis MIND Institute, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Study Senior Author.

The ELS procedure covers two types of natural interactions from the participants: conversation and narration. In conversation, trained examiners engage participants on a variety of topics in a sequence and standardized manner. On the other hand, in narration, the participants independently construct and tell the story in a wordless picture book. The process intensity matters the most as the repetitive mistakes are calculated. Following that the mistakes are eliminated with continuous lessons which help to solve the intellectual disabilities of youths with down syndrome.

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