Published in: Advances in Speech-Language Pathology, 9:323-331, 2007

Abstract: The goal of the present study was to explore the dynamic aspects of receptive language development of young children with Down syndrome (DS). By its very nature typical dynamic assessment (DA) of cognitive functions focuses on ‘‘fluid’’ intelligence that is more amenable to change, than verbal knowledge that is ‘‘crystallized’’. We believe, however, that any situation of assessment, even aimed at crystallized knowledge includes many cognitive strategies obscured under conditions of static testing that can be revealed via DA. Thirty children with DS (3 to 7-years-old) participated in the study. The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-R) was used in static and dynamic assessment modality. The results indicate that even a minimal mediation in the form of ‘‘focusing’’ improves the receptive language performance of children with DS. Cross-sectional analysis of the developmental trends indicated that the developmental trend of children with DS generated by the DA procedure is closer to the normative trend than the trend generated by the static test data. The effect size of the DA procedure is discussed as well as the relationship between the modifiability in the language area as compared to other cognitive areas.