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Research findings

ELVS investigators look at various parts of childhood communication development. Here are some key findings you have shared with us so far.

Stuttering

By four years of age, the incidence of stuttering onset over time was 11.2% in the ELVS group. This is much higher than reported previously. Only 6.3% of children had recovered from stuttering in the first 12 months after onset of stuttering. This is lower than previous reports of recovery rates. Recovery rates were higher for boys, those who did not repeat whole words at onset of stuttering, and for children who had reduced severity when stuttering began. Children who stuttered had stronger language skills at four years and better health-related quality of life than the non-stuttering group. Early onset of stuttering was not associated with language delay, social and environmental factors, or shyness/withdrawal before stuttering started. The ELVS data showed that the negative affects people tend to associate with stuttering, were not the norm in the ELVS group in the first year after stuttering onset.
Health professionals can reassure parents that onset of stuttering is not unusual up to four years of age and seems to be associated with rapid growth in language development.

Language and memory

At age five we looked at the language and memory of some of the children who were saying few words at age two. The most important findings from this study were:

Late starters can catch up, with language skills at age five similar to those of children who produced more words at age two.
Those late starters who continued to have difficulties with language at age five were likely to have memory skills that were less advanced.

Autism

A number of children have been diagnosed with autism during the study. Twenty children were identified by four years, and almost 50 by the age of seven. Many of the later diagnosed cases have Asperger Syndrome. We are interested particularly in early signs of autism that differentiate children with autism spectrum disorder from children with other delays and disabilities.

The early development of children with autism was compared to that of other ELVS children. We found that children with autism produced less communicative gestures at two years of age than children with developmental delay, or language impairment or typically developing children. The study continues to look for further early markers as the children grow older and it is hoped the results of the study will lead to earlier detection of autism in the future.

School readiness

ELVS has looked at what factors help predict a child's readiness to start school at five-six years of age that might be identifiable before school entry.  The most helpful characteristics in being ready for good progress at school were:

  • Level of language expression
  • Level of language understanding
  • Pre-literacy skills including knowledge of letters and their sounds.

Publications

Brignell A, Williams K, Jachno K, Prior M, Reilly S, Morgan A. (2018). Patterns and predictors of language development from 4 to 7 years in verbal children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders. 1-4. doi:10.1007/s10803-018-3565-2

Conway LJ, Levickis PA, Mensah F, Smith JA, Wake M, Reilly S. (2018). The role of joint engagement in the development of language in a community-derived sample of slow-to-talk children. Journal of Child Language. 1–19. doi:10.1017/S030500091800017X

Eadie P, Conway L, Hallenstein B, Mensah F, McKean C, Reilly S. (2018). Quality of life in children with developmental language disorder. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12385

Matov J, Mensah F, Cook F, Reilly S. (2018). Investigation of the language tasks to include in a short‐language measure for children in the early school years. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders.

Morgan A, Su M, Reilly S, Conti-Ramsden G, Connelly A, Liégeois FJ. (2018). A brain marker for developmental speech disorders. The Journal of Pediatrics. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.02.043

Reilly S, Cini E, Gold L, Goldfeld S, Law J, Levickis P, Mensah F, Morgan A, Nicholson JM, Le HN, Pezic A. (2018). Data resource profile: The Child LAnguage REpository (CLARE). International Journal of Epidemiology. 47(3):1-11. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyy034

Carew P, Mensah F, Rance G, Flynn T, Poulakis Z, Wake M. (2017). Mild–moderate congenital hearing loss: Secular trends in outcomes across four systems of detection. Child: Care, Health and Development. 44(1):71-82.

Kefalianos E, Onslow M, Packman A, Vogel A, Pezic A, Mensah F, Conway L, Bavin E, Block S, Reilly S. (2017). The history of stuttering by 7 years of age: Follow-up of a prospective community cohort. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 60(10):2828-2839.

Kefalianos E, Onslow M, Ukoumunne OC, Block S, Reilly S. (2017). Temperament and early stuttering development: Cross-sectional findings from a community cohort. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 60(4):772-784.

Levickis P, Sciberras E, McKean C, Conway L, Pezic A, Mensah F, Bavin EL, Bretherton L, Eadie P, Prior M, Reilly S. (2017). Language and social-emotional and behavioural wellbeing from 4 to 7 years: A community-based study. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 1-1. doi:10.1007/s00787-017-1079-7.

Luders E, Kurth F, Pigdon L, Conti-Ramsden G, Reilly S, Morgan A. (2017). Atypical callosal morphology in children with speech sound disorder. Neuroscience. 367:211-218.

McKean C, Reilly S, Bavin EL, Bretherton L, Cini E, Conway L, Cook F, Eadie P, Prior M, Wake M, Mensah F. Language outcomes at 7 years: Early predictors and co-occurring difficulties. Pediatrics. e20161684. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1684.

McKean C, Wraith D, Eadie P, Cook F, Mensah F, Reilly S. (2017). Subgroups in language trajectories from 4 to 11 years: The nature and predictors of stable, improving and decreasing language trajectory groups. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 58(10):1081-1091.

Reilly S, Cook F, Bavin EL, Bretherton L, Cahir P, Eadie P, Gold L, Mensah F, Papadopoullos S, Wake M. (2017). Cohort Profile: The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS). International Journal of Epidemiology. 1-10. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyx079

Smith KA, Iverach L, O'Brian S, Mensah F, Kefalianos E, Hearne A, Reilly S. (2017). Anxiety in 11-year-old children who stutter: Findings from a prospective longitudinal community sample. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 60(5):1211-1222.

Smith KA. Anxiety and stuttering: Closing the research gaps (2017). (Doctoral dissertation).

Bavin EL, Reilly S. (2016). Understanding language development in a community sample: The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS). Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 60(7):634.

Bennetts SK, Mensah FK, Westrupp EM, Hackworth NJ, Reilly S. (2016). The agreement between parent-reported and directly measured child language and parenting behaviors. Frontiers in Psychology. 7:1710. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01710.

Brignell A, Williams K, Prior M, Donath S, Reilly S, Bavin EL, Eadie P, Morgan A. (2016). Parent-reported patterns of loss and gain in communication in 1 to 2-year-old children are not unique to autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 21(3):344-356.

Le HN, Gold L, Mensah F, Eadie P, Bavin EL, Bretherton L, Reilly S. (2016). Service utilisation and costs of language impairment in children: The early language in Victoria Australian population-based study. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 19(4):360-369.

McKean C, Law J, Mensah F, Cini E, Eadie P, Frazer K, Reilly S. (2016). Predicting meaningful differences in school-entry language skills from child and family factors measured at 12 months of age. International Journal of Early Childhood. 48(3):329-351.

Mueller KL, Murray JC, Michaelson JJ, Christiansen MH, Reilly S, Tomblin JB. (2016). Common genetic variants in FOXP2 are not associated with individual differences in language development. PloS One. 11(4):e0152576.

Watts A, Eadie P, Block S, Mensah F, Reilly S. (2017). Language skills of children during the first 12 months after stuttering onset. Journal of Fluency Disorders. 51:39-49.

McKean C, Mensah F, Eadie P, Bavin EL, Bretherton L, Cini C, Reilly S. (2015). Levers for language growth: Characteristics and predictors of language trajectories between 4 and 7 years. PLoS One. 10(8):e0134251. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134251

Serry T, Castles A, Mensah F, Pezic A, Bavin EL, Eadie P, Prior M, Bretherton L, Reilly S. (2015). Developing a comprehensive model of risk and protective factors that can predict spelling at age seven: Findings from a community sample of Victorian children. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties. 20(1):83-102.

Swain N, Eadie P, Prior M, Reilly, S. (2015). Assessing early communication skills at 12 months: A retrospective study of Autism Spectrum Disorder. International Journal of Speech Language Pathology. 50(4):488-498. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12150

Watts A, Eadie P, Block S, Reilly S. (2015). Language ability of children with and without a history of stuttering: A longitudinal study. International Journal of Speech Language Pathology. 17(1):86-95.

Bretherton L, Prior R, Bavin E, Cini E, Eadie P, Reilly S. (2014). Developing relationships between language and behaviour in preschool children from the Early Language in Victoria Study: Implications for intervention. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. 19(1):7-27.

Eadie P, Morgan A, Ukoumunne OC, Eecen Trofari K, Wake M, Reilly S. (2014). Speech sound disorders at 4 years: Prevalence, co-morbidities, and predictors in a community cohort of children. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 7(6):578-584.

Eadie P, Nguyen C, Carlin J, Bavin E, Bretherton L, Reilly S. (2014). Stability of language performance at 4 & 5 years: Measurement and participant variability. International Journal of Speech Language Pathology. 49(2):215-227.

Kefalianos E, Onslow M, Ukoumunne O, Block S, Reilly S. (2014). Stuttering, temperament, and anxiety: Data from a community cohort ages 2–4 years. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 57(4):1314-1322.

Reilly S, Tomblin B, Law J, McKean C, Mensah F, Morgan A, Goldfeld S, Nicholson JM, Wake M. (2014). Specific language impairment: A convenient label for whom?. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. 49(4):416-451.

Skeat J, Wake M, Ukoumunne OC, Eadie P, Bretherton L, Reilly S. (2014). Who gets help for pre-school communication problems? Data from a prospective community study. Child: Care, Health and Development. 40(2):215-222.

Veness C, Prior M, Eadie P, Bavin E, Reilly S. (2014). Predicting autism diagnosis by 7 years of age using parent report of infant social communication skills. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 50(9):693-700.

Bavin EL, Bretherton L. (2013). The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS): Late talkers, predictors and outcomes. In: Rescorla L, Dale P, (eds.). Late Talkers: From Research to Practice: Language Development, Interventions and Outcomes. Baltimore, USA: Brookes Publishing Co; 3-21.

Bretherton L, Prior M, Bavin E, Cini E, Eadie P, Reilly S. (2013). Developing relationships between language and behaviour in preschool children from the Early Language in Victoria Study: Implications for intervention. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. 19(1):7-27.

Castles A, McLean GM, Bavin EL, Bretherton L, Carlin J, Prior M, Ukoumunne O, Wake M, Reilly S. (2013). Computer use and letter knowledge in pre-school children: A population-based study. Journal of Paediatric Child Health. 49(3):193-198.

Reilly S, Kefalianos E, Smith K. (2013). The natural history of stuttering onset and recovery: Data from a longitudinal study. Enfance. (3):275-285.

Reilly S, Onslow M, Packman A, Cini E, Conway L, Ukoumunne OC, Bavin EL, Prior M, Eadie P, Block S, Wake M. (2013). Natural history of stuttering to 4 years of age: A prospective community-based study. Pediatrics. 132(3):460-467.

Kefalianos E, Onslow M, Block S, Menzies R, Reilly S. (2012). Early stuttering, temperament and anxiety: Two hypotheses. Journal of Fluency Disorders. 37(3):151-163. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2012.03.002

Petruccelli N, Bavin EL, Bretherton L. (2012). Children with Specific Language Impairment and resolved late talkers: Working memory profiles at 5 years. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. 55(6):1690-1703.

Veness C, Prior M, Bavin EL, Eadie P, Cini E, Reilly S. (2012). Early indicators of autism spectrum disorders at 12 and 24 months of age: A prospective, longitudinal comparative study. Autism. 16(2):163-177.

Nicholls R, Eadie P, Reilly S. (2011). Monolingual versus multilingual acquisition of English morphology: What can we expect by age three? International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. 46(4):449-463.

Prior M, Bavin EL, Ong B. (2011). Predictors of school readiness in five-to six-year-old children from an Australian longitudinal community sample. Educational Psychology. 31(1):3-16.

Prior M, Bavin EL, Cini E, Reilly S, Eadie P. (2011). Relationships between language impairment, temperament, behavioural adjustment and maternal factors, in a community sample of preschool children. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. 46(4):489-494.

Skeat J, Gold L, Reilly S, Wake M, Ukoumunne O. (2011). Letter to the Editor: The costs of preschool communication problems: Population study. The Medical Journal of Australia. 195(6):322-23.

Ukoumunne O, Wake M, Carlin J, Bavin EL, Lum J, Skeat J, Williams J, Conway L, Cini E, Reilly S. (2011). Profiles of language development in pre-school children: Longitudinal latent class analysis of data from the Early Language in Victoria Study. Child: Care, Health and Development. 38(3):341-349. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01234.

Eadie P, Ukoumunne O, Reilly S, Skeat J, Prior M, Bavin EL. (2010). Assessing early communication behaviours: Structure and validity of the Communication and Symbolic Behaviour Scales-Developmental Profile in 12 month Infants. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. 45(5):572-585.

Reilly S, Wake M, Ukoumunne O, Bavin EL, Prior M, Cini E, Conway L, Eadie P, Bretherton L. (2010). Predicting language outcomes at 4 years: Longitudinal findings from the Early Language in Victoria Study. Pediatrics. 126(6):e1530-7.

Skeat J, Eadie P, Ukoumunne O, Reilly S. (2010). Predictors of parents seeking help or advice about children's communication development in the early years. Child: Care, Health & Development. 36(6):878-887.

Reilly S, Bavin EL, Bretherton L, Conway L, Eadie P, Cini E, Prior M, Ukoumunne OC, Wake M. (2009). The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS): A prospective, longitudinal study of communication skills and expressive vocabulary development at 8, 12 and 24 months. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 11(5):344-57.

Reilly S, Onslow M, Packman A, Wake M, Bavin EL, Prior M, Eadie P, Cini E, Bolzonello C, Ukoumunne OC. (2009). Predicting stuttering onset by the age of 3 years: A prospective, community cohort study. Pediatrics. 123(1):270-7.

Skeat J, Wake M, Reilly S, Eadie P, Bretherton L, Bavin EL, Ukoumunne OC. (2010). Predictors of early precocious talking: A prospective population study. Journal of Child Language. 37(5):1109-21.

Bavin EL, Prior M, Reilly S, Bretherton L, Williams J, Eadie P, Barrett Y, Ukoumunne OC. (2008). The Early Language in Victoria Study: Predicting vocabulary at age one and two years from gesture and object use. Journal of Child Language. (3):687-701.

Prior M, Bavin EL, Cini E, Reilly S, Bretherton L, Wake M, Eadie P. (2008). Influences on communicative development at 24 months of age: Child temperament, behaviour problems, and maternal factors. Infant Behavior and Development. 31(2):270-279.

Reilly S, Wake M, Bavin EL, Eadie P, Bretherton L, Prior M. (2008). Letter regarding ’A systematic review of the literature on characteristics of late‐talking toddlers‚ by Desmarais et al'. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. 43(4):473-475.

Reilly S, Wake M, Bavin EL, Prior M, Williams J, Bretherton L, Eadie P, Barrett Y, Ukoumunne OC. (2007). Predicting language at 2 years of age: A prospective community study. Pediatrics. 120(6):e1441-9.

Reilly S, Eadie P, Bavin EL, Wake M, Prior M, Williams J, Bretherton L, Barrett Y, Ukoumunne OC. (2006). Growth of infant communication between 8 and 12 months: A population study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 42(12):764-770.