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This paper reports results from two dissertation studies and several pilot and case studies examining the effects of early enrichment on children's language and cognitive development. Early enrichment in these studies included home visits with parents, typically beginning before the child reached 6 months of age, and continuing until the child was about 1 year old. Enrichment methods, combining a cognitive referential learning strategy with a social interaction strategy, were presented to parents in informal discussions, interactive demonstrations with their infants, and a program guide and videotape. Several types of developmental measures were employed, including standardized mental tests, language assessment scales, tape recordings, and daily parent records of infant progress in sound, word, and sentence acquisition. Follow-up measures consisted of parent interviews and SAT measures administered through school. Data analysis compared developmental test norms and actual outcomes with expected probabilities for indices of school achievement and competence. Results indicated that children in all projects progressed in language development well in advance of norms. Results showed that 62 percent of the children are in gifted or advanced programs, and from 56 to 92 percent have high grades, are intellectually independent, are excellent readers and writers, and are skilled in learning languages, math, and science. (MM)

Descriptors: Child Development, Cognitive Development, Early Experience, Early Intervention, Enrichment Activities, Gifted, Home Visits, Infants, Language Acquisition, Learning Strategies, Longitudinal Studies, Parent Influence, Parent Participation, Preschool Education, Program Effectiveness

Autor: Fowler, William; And Others


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