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Quiet Toddlers Just As Intelligent

Tue., Jan. 7, 1997

Yale University psychologists have confirmed what many parents of toddlers already know: A slow start in mastering speaking skills doesn’t guarantee a poor finish.

A study comparing the developmental progress of hundreds of pairs of twins found little correlation between intelligence and early speaking ability. The researchers determined the number of words toddlers understand is far more important than what they can say.

“Some children are born to be chatty, while others are born to be reticent about sharing their growing vocabulary knowledge,” said J. Steven Reznick, a psychologist at the Yale Institute for Behavior Genetics in Boulder, Colo. “Don’t worry about the child who is not talking much if that child seems to understand what he or she hears.”

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