KidTalk for Preschoolers with language delays – No longer recruiting

KidTalk For Preschoolers With Language Delays – No longer recruiting                                                                          En Español

“Maximizing Outcomes for Preschoolers with Developmental Language Disorders Project”

This project is funded by The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

This language intervention study is looking for toddlers with language delays between 27 to 30 months old. Study participation should last 18 months and will include: assessments every 3 months to track child development, parent handbooks with language support strategies, developmentally appropriate toys and books every 3 months, as well as telehealth intervention sessions for the treatment group.

We will ask you to:

  • Complete forms and attend telehealth assessments with your child every 3 months over the 18-month period
  • Participate in parent training for up to 66 telehealth sessions at your home (if in the treatment group)

You and your child could be eligible if:

  • Your child is less than 31 months old
  • You are concerned about your child’s language development
  • Your child has no other diagnosis that influences his/her development
  • You only use English with your child
  • You or another parent/caregiver are willing to participate in telehealth parent training sessions (if in the treatment group)

If enrolled, you could:

  • Learn how to support your child’s growth and development
  • Receive up to $1,150 for your family’s time over the 18-month study
  • Receive an iPad to use for video calls that will be yours to keep after you complete the study
  • Participate in study activities over video calls during a time that is convenient for you


If you are interested in screening your child in this study, please complete the survey at this link.

To see if you and your child are eligible to participate in this research study we will administer a series of standardized assessments. This screening process will include a language assessment, a cognitive assessment, and an Autism screening assessment. These assessments will be delivered via telehealth using video calls and materials delivered to your home.

If you are eligible to participate, you will be randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group. Both groups will receive a series of parent handbooks with strategies to help encourage your child’s language development, as well as toys chosen by our therapists. The treatment group will also receive one-on-one training with one of our trained therapists over the 18-month period.


Click on the image below for a downloadable copy of the flyer.


Click here to view this study on

This project has been reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (STU00207758) with Dr. Ann Kaiser, Dr. Megan Roberts, & Dr. Pamela Hadley as Principal Investigators, NIDCD U01 DC017135.


More info about this study:

Detailed description of the study

A multi-site, phase 2, randomized clinical trial will be used to determine whether communication support strategies are effective for improving language outcomes in children with emergent developmental language disorder.

At study entry, 108 children with emergent developmental language disorder (DLD) at 30 months of age will be randomly assigned 1:1 to either the EMT-SF treatment condition or a Business as Usual (BAU) control group. The control group is necessary to determine the efficacy of the EMT-SF intervention. The EMT-SF group is necessary to evaluate the effects of systematically teaching caregivers to use these strategies. Because all children in the study have language delays that will make them eligible to receive the early intervention services through the state early intervention program, children in both experimental conditions will receive state-provided community-based intervention according to their Individualized Family Service Plan – the current standard of care or from private speech language therapy providers. Children in the EMT-SF condition will receive an additional 18 months of interventionist plus caregiver-implemented intervention sessions. Children in both groups will be assessed at the start of the study and every 3 months until the child is 49 months old. The goal is to enroll all children at 30 months of age and provide a minimum of 60 of the planned 66 sessions of intervention to each child in the treatment condition; however, variability in age at study entry (e.g., 30 months), intervention dosage, and number of assessment data points will be addressed in the statistical analysis.


What is the problem we are addressing?

This project addresses the communication intervention needs of toddlers starting at 30 months of age with delays in both expressive and receptive language.


What is the design of the study?

This study is a clinical trial, meaning that there are at least two groups being compared to one another. Everyone in the study receives books, toys, handbooks, and compensation. Everyone also provides the study team with information about themselves and their child through surveys and assessments. However, one group also receives language intervention coaching. This allows us to see if the language intervention coaching increases the parents use of language support strategies more than those who do not receive the coaching. If so, we know the coaching is effective!


Where is happening?

This research project is taking place nationwide within the United States through virtual telehealth sessions. Professionals from Vanderbilt University, Northwestern University, and The University of Champagne Illinois are collaborating to make this possible!


Who is participating?

Children 30 months of age and one of their caregivers participate in the study together. All parents answer surveys and assist in assessments that help us learn more about their families. Parents in the intervention condition also receive language intervention coaching for use with their child.


What do we hope the outcomes will be?

We hope that the children who participate in our study will have significant gains in communication that they otherwise would not have. If this is successful, we have another great tool to continue helping children within our community.


KidTalk staff on this project:

Dr. Ann Kaiser, Principal Investigator

Suzanne Thompson

Jen Nietfeld

Ashlynn Campagna

Kimberly McCulla

Madeline Hinson

Lauren Booth


KidTalk doctoral students on this project:

Kelsey Dillehay

Natalie Pak

Mary Rodgers

Kate Bailey



Dr. Megan Roberts, Principal Investigator + Early Intervention Research Group at Northwestern University

Dr. Pamela Hadley, Principal Investigator + Applied Psycholinguistics Lab at University of Illinois-Urbana


Links for potential participants