Speech and Language Development in Preschool Twins Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractWhile language, articulation and reading problems have been well documented in young twins, it is not clear how extensive such problems can be or how early in childhood they become evident. At the age of 30 months, twin boys in the La Trobe Twin Study were 8 months behind matched singletons and twin girls on expressive language and 6 months behind on verbal comprehension. They were also 5 months behind on symbolic play and this delay was closely related to language. “Secret” language characterised most of the twin boys but not the girls and the relation of this to articulation delays is discussed. To examine if exposure to other children helps the twin boys, 38-53 month old twins and singletons were matched on the Columbia Mental Maturity Scale at the time of starting preschool. The twin boys had more articulation problems and all twins scored much lower on a Sociability questionnaire completed by the teacher. After 8 months at preschool, all children had advanced in Sociability, but the twins remained just as far behind with poor Sociability relating to poor articulation. The role of intervention programs is discussed.


publication date

  • July 1987