The play and language behavior of mothers with and without dyslexia and its association to their toddlers' language development.J Learn Disabil. 2003 Jan-Feb; 36(1):74-86.JL
The play and language behavior of mothers with (n = 49) and without (n = 49) specific reading disabilities (RD) was investigated during play with their 14-month-old children. The contribution of maternal behavior to the language development of their children was examined. The children's receptive and expressive language skills were assessed longitudinally at 14, 18, and 30 months, using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories and the Reynell Developmental Language Scales. Children with and without familial risk for RD did not differ from each other in any play or language measures at these ages. No group differences were found for mothers' manifestations of nonsymbolic play and language. However, the typically reading (TR) mothers produced significantly more symbolic play and language in play interactions with their child than did the mothers with RD. The correspondence between mother-child symbolic play and maternal play-related language was also higher for the TR group than it was for the RD group. The mothers' symbolic play did not show any relation to their children's language development, but their expressions of symbolic language did show a relationship. The mothers' child-directed symbolic language contributed significantly toward the comprehension skills of 14- and 18-month-olds in the RD group. This association, however, was lower at 30 months, at which point it was reliably present for the first time in the TR group.