Recent evidence has suggested that sleep may facilitate language learning. This study examined variation in language ability in 29 toddlers with Down syndrome (DS) in relation to levels of sleep disruption. Toddlers with DS and poor sleep (66%, n = 19) showed greater deficits on parent-reported and objective measures of language, including vocabulary and syntax. Correlations between sleep and language were found in groups with equivalent medical and social backgrounds and after control for relevant behavioral comorbidities, including autism symptoms. These results emphasize the important role of quality sleep in all children's expressive language development, and may help increase our understanding of the etiology of language deficits in developmental disorders, potentially leading to new treatment approaches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology