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Early Gesturing Predicts Language Delays

By Devaki

The brain-injured children may use gesture to signal they need help in developing language, reveals the new study.

Brain lesions, mainly occurs as a result of stroke, with risk factors involving both mothers and babies. Children with early brain lesions often get affected with one side of the brain. The language delay of such children normalize for many, but persist for some. The new research says that we can identify those children who will have the later language delays, if they are gesturing at 18 months.

So the researchers warns the parents to observe the gestures like pointing, waving goodbye, etc in 18 month-old children with brain lesions which are the good predictors of their later vocabulary delays.

"The fact that gesture predicts later language delay raises the possibility that gesture itself may be an effective intervention––encouraging children with lesions to gesture in the first 18 months of life may improve their spoken vocabulary years later," advice the researchers.

More than 11 children of 18 months, who had the brain lesions took part in this study. The vocabulary of those children were tested, when they were 30 months old.

The work, done by the researchers at the University of Chicago, will be published in the issue of the Child Development journal.

Read more about: vocabulary brain stroke
Story first published: Monday, March 29, 2010, 16:23 [IST]
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