Spoken Language Development in Down Syndrome

Research Study Participation Opportunity

Individuals with Down syndrome between the ages of 6 and 23 years of age are invited to participate in a major new multi-site research study being conducted by Drs. Len Abbeduto (MIND Institute UC Davis), Jamie Edgin and Lynn Nadel (University of Arizona), Sherman and Visootsak (Emory University), and Sterling (Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin). This study is funded by the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and includes researchers and institutions involved in the Down Syndrome Cognition Project (DSCP) supported by the LuMind Foundation.

The study will examine different methods of sampling expressive (spoken) language in children, adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome with the long range goal of determining if these types of measures would be useful as valid and reliable outcome measures for use in drug studies to learn if they can be helpful for individuals with Down syndrome to learn and use language more effectively. This current study is only a behavioral study and it does not involve any medication use. If it can be determined in this study that the results of expressive language samples are reliable (stable) over the short term and sensitive to change over longer periods of time, this would suggest that these types of measures would be useful in measuring changes in spoken language that might result from pharmacological treatments.

Participation will involve two visits, four weeks apart, and a follow-up third visit two years later. All visits will last one day and travel expenses will be covered for the participant and a parent/caregiver. The study participants will be tested using both standardized tests and with the expressive-language sampling procedures. The language-sampling procedure consists of obtaining samples of spoken language in two different contexts. One is narrating a story depicted in a wordless picture book; the second is performance during a scripted 10-minute conversation with an examiner.

To learn more about this study and participation, please call the Study Coordinator at (916) 703-0226 or email: language.research@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu

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