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Using developmental trajectories to understand developmental disorders

Thomas, Michael S.C. and Annaz, Dagmara and Ansari, D. and Scerif, G. and Jarrold, C. and Karmiloff-Smith, Annette (2009) Using developmental trajectories to understand developmental disorders. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 52 (2), pp. 336-358. ISSN 1092-4388.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2009/07-0144)

Abstract

Purpose: In this article, the authors present a tutorial on the use of developmental trajectories for studying language and cognitive impairments in developmental disorders and compare this method with the use of matching. Method: The authors assess the strengths, limitations, and practical implications of each method. The contrast between the methodologies is highlighted using the example of developmental delay and the criteria used to distinguish delay from atypical development. Results: The authors argue for the utility of the trajectory approach, using illustrations from studies investigating language and cognitive impairments in individuals with Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, and autism spectrum disorder. Conclusion: Two conclusions were reached: (a) An understanding of the underlying mechanism will be furthered by the richer descriptive vocabulary provided by the trajectories approach (e.g., in distinguishing different types of delay) and (b) an optimal design for studying developmental disorders is to combine initial cross-sectional designs with longitudinal follow-up.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2010 14:42
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2600

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