The Shape Show!

The Shape Show!

Toddler Language Development (ToLD) Lab (Sacred Heart University)

Who Can Participate

Toddlers 24 months to 36 months who are language delayed (fewer than 50 words or not yet putting words together to make sentences) and only learning to speak English.

What Happens

Your toddler will watch some videos of unusual shapes while listening to the names of the shapes. At the end of the study, your toddler will be asked to look at or point to the shapes when they are named. You will be asked to complete two questionnaires about your toddler's language and communication skills. Links for the questionnaires will be sent to you through Lookit within two business days after you complete the experiment. Questionnaires can be done anytime within seven days of experiment completion. Note: You will need a high chair or booster seat for toddler during the experiment.

What We're Studying

The purpose of this experiment is to evaluate the relationship between pattern detection and vocabulary skills in language delayed toddlers. The ability to detect patterns in visual and verbal information, known as statistical learning, is one tool toddlers use to acquire language. We know that some toddlers talk only a little while others speak a lot. This study may provide us with some insight as to how the ability to detect patterns in audiovisual information may be related to language and communication abilities in toddlerhood. This information may ultimately help us figure out why some toddlers struggle to learn to talk.


10 - 12 minutes for the experiment and 30 minutes for questionnaires


Within three business days after you finish your questionnaires, we will send you a $10 Amazon gift card code through Lookit. To be eligible for the gift card: 1) your child must be in the age range for this study, 2) you need to submit a valid consent statement, and 3) we need to see that there is a child with you. You and your child do not need to finish the whole experiment to receive the gift card.

This study is conducted by Elizabeth Schoen Simmons (contact:

Would you like to participate in this study?