Expressive and receptive vocabulary learning in children with diverse disability typologies

Tonia N. Davis, Hope S. Lancaster, Stephen Camarata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A combined storybook and play vocabulary intervention was implemented as a single-subject study of 23 children of diverse typologies, including 10 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), three with developmental disability (DD), five with Down Syndrome, and five with specific language impairment (SLI), who were currently receiving speech-language services and had an individual education plan (IEP) goal targeting language. Participants' ages ranged from 3 years-1 month to 7 years-4 months. A parallel treatment design was used to identify changes at (a) word level, (b) child level, and (c) in children of similar typological and developmental profiles. All children learned vocabulary words to criterion in both expressive and receptive modalities. Children of different etiological origin did not vary in the trajectory of their receptive or expressive word learning. These results suggest that the trajectory of word learning may be remarkably consistent across disability typologies. The theoretical and clinical ramifications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Expressive language
  • Receptive language
  • Word learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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