Differential diagnosis of late talking toddlers
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The goal of this report is to review contemporary literature on late talking (LT) toddlers. The importance of early identification and intervention is underlined relative to public policy in the US related to availability of services of children 0-3. The varied definitions utilized by researchers are reviewed, and critiqued as they relate to valid differential diagnosis. Possible predictive demographic factors including gender and family variables have not been found to account for a large amount of variation in language abilities related to differential diagnosis. Lexical processing variables including prelinguistic development, fast mapping, attentional bias, phonotactics, and pragmatic language use were reviewed as well. In this area of language processing, there is no broad consensus in the literature on the power of these developmental issues to predict longer-term outcomes. Limitations of the research and future considerations are discussed. In addition, a short pamphlet has been developed for potential use by practicing SLPs as well as for distribution to parents on this topic related to late talking toddlers.