Summary and Implications
We have primarily discussed normal patterns of language development over the first 3 years of life. We have compared full-term and premature infants, discussed how mothers (and, on occasion, other caregivers) talk to their children during these 3 years, and some patterns of language development among children who turn out to have some difficulties in developing lan guage. In this last chapter, we first present the results we obtained from the outcome measures we used when the younger group of children was 30 months and the older group of children was 35 to 36 months. We then summarize our findings in each of the areas of language development we examined. We end by presenting some of the findings we obtained with some of the premature children in a follow-up study of their language develop ment, and that of other premature children. We conclude by discussing what we think are the implications of our findings for researchers, clinicians, and teachers of young children. We also discuss what our longitudinal study told us about assessing the language development of young children and about the ability to predict outcomes in language development from these assessments. We expect these kinds of information may be helpful in terms of thinking about normal language development and about measures for determining children at risk for language development problems. Finally, we present some suggestions for intervention that we think our study indicates.