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Early language development in Indian children: A population-based pilot study.

Research paper by Manjit M Sidhu, Prahbhjot P Malhi, Jagat J Jerath

Indexed on: 09 Oct '13Published on: 09 Oct '13Published in: Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology



Abstract

To study the prevalence of language delay and to examine its socio-economic correlates in children less than 3 years.Participants were 130 children (males = 56%) aged 12-35 months (mean age = 1.81 years, SD = 0.58), from an urban center in north India. The language quotient (LQ) of the child was measured by the Clinical Linguistic Auditory Milestone Scale (CLAMS). Children with an LQ score of less than 70 were considered language delayed.Overall, 6.2% of the children were language delayed with a higher prevalence found for girls (7%) than for boys (5.5%), although the difference was not statistically significant. Several significant correlations between socio-economic and demographic variables and the LQ of the child were found. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that 31.4% of the variance in the LQ scores of girls was accounted for by income (F = 23.80, P = 0.000) and 18.1% of the variance in the LQ scores of boys was accounted for by education of the mother and income (F = 15.67, P = 0.000).Developmental problems in early years are often precursors of problems in later life and early intervention can facilitate favorable outcomes among children with multiple risks. The high prevalence of language difficulties in young children underscores the need to target language delay in early years, to reduce the likelihood of adverse outcomes and thus optimize chances of improvement.