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Increasing deictic gesture use to support the language development of toddlers from high poverty backgrounds

This study uses a single-case, multiple probe design to investigate the effects of a naturalistic intervention on deictic gesture use in toddlers who are from low-SES backgrounds. The month-long study included strategies drawn from the literature on early communication interventions to increase the rate of child gesture use in toddlers at-risk for later delays. These strategies include frequent modeling of deictic gestures (points, shows, reaches, and gives), creating opportunities for the child to gesture by using environmental arrangements, choices, and wait time, and by responding and expanding each gesture. All three child participants made gains in their rates of deictic gestures after the onset of intervention with no overlap between the intervention and baseline conditions. Children also made gains to gesture + vocalization combinations and gesture + word combinations in this short-term intervention. This study offers preliminary evidence that prelinguistic interventions for children at-risk can be used to increase rates of communication in toddlers in poverty. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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