About the Language Use Inventory

NEW! Easy-to-Use LUI Online Version

The LUI is now available, via a secure web-based platform, in an online version that will save users time and money and is simple and friendly to use. More »

Our online platform has been designed to easily allow the professional user to:

  • purchase LUI administrations in custom amounts online 24/7
  • administer the LUI to parents on any mobile device in your office or to send parents a link for them to complete the LUI remotely from home
  • send parents customized emails along with the link with any further instructions regarding completion or reminder emails
  • monitor from your secure account LUI administrations that are in progress or completed
  • instantly receive into his/her secure user account a copy of the completed LUI and a detailed, scored LUI Child Report displaying in text and graph form a child’s results in percentile rank form based on the norms of the LUI
  • save completed LUI and LUI Child Report and/or print a pdf copy
  • administer the LUI more cost-effectively as shipping costs are eliminated and individual administration costs are lower than paper hardcopies
  • save time and streamline administration by eliminating shipping time, mailings to parents, or dealing with forgotten questionnaires at appointment time
  • rest assured that the LUI has been fully completed within the specified time frame as the online system will prompt parents for missed items and remind parents of completion time deadlines

A Unique Assessment of Early Pragmatic Language Development

The Language Use Inventory (LUI) is the only standardized parent-report questionnaire solely aimed at assessing 18- to 47-month-old children’s social pragmatic use of language. More »

The LUI is designed to:

  • identify children with delay or impairment in pragmatic language development compared to children of the same sex and age in months
  • identify children whose expressive language skills should be further evaluated with a comprehensive speech and language assessment

The LUI is easy to use for both clinician and parent. It takes about 20 minutes for parents to complete. Hardcopy and online administration are now available to professionals with automated-desktop or instantaneous-online scoring and receipt of detailed reports to professionals.

For children within the 18 to 47 month norms, scores are presented in percentile form on the LUI Child Report, which will tell you how their performance compares to that of boys or girls of the same age in months and can document social language functioning that is falling significantly below that of peers. Percentile scores on the LUI can also allow you to easily track a child’s progress over time as norms are available for each month up to 47 months. For children older than 47 months, language age equivalent scores are displayed on the LUI Child Report based on the norms where permissible.

The LUI meets the need for a standardized, empirically validated measure of very young children’s pragmatic language development given its record of published research supporting its reliability and validity, including predictive validity.

The LUI was recommended as a measure for assessing pragmatics when evaluating the efficacy of interventions that target spoken language acquisition in children with autism spectrum disorders by a panel of autism experts convened by the NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (Tager-Flusberg et al., 2009). Independent recommendations and research studies validating the LUI are continuing to grow in the areas of autism spectrum disorders, social communication disorder, ADHD and Down syndrome. See an ongoing listing at LUI Research - Publications.

Automatically Generated & Detailed LUI Child Report

The LUI Child Report provides a user with a detailed summary of child’s percentile scores on the LUI overall and its subscales, accompanied by easy-to-read graphs. If a child is older than 47 months, language age percentile equivalent scores will be provided. Using the norms for the LUI, the detailed LUI Child Report provides a user with a child’s percentile rank for their LUI Total Score, Parts 2 and 3, and all scored subscales. More »

This information is presented in both numerical and easy-to-read graph form. The LUI Child Report also contains any other text responses entered by the parent for non-scored subscales (E and L) as well as any other information entered about the child’s health and language background. Information in the LUI Client Report can be easily “cut and pasted” into other documents for which a user may need to incorporate a child’s LUI performance.

As of October 2015, if a LUI user is using the LUI with a child who is older than 47 months (the upper age for the norms), a LUI Child Report will be generated following scoring that provides a “language age percentile equivalent score” based on the norms for all LUI Total, Part and Subscale scores on the report. For example, the report might show that a child’s LUI Total Score places him/her at or near the average (50th percentile) score of children of the age of 30 months according to the norms for the LUI. As on the regular LUI Child Report, the results are also provided in graph form. In this way, the LUI can provide a helpful descriptive overview of social communicative functioning for children 4 years of age and older. More information about how these age percentile equivalent scores are calculated are provided on the LUI Child Report.

Online LUI Child Report (Age within norms)
Online LUI Child Report (Age beyond norms)

Broad and Detailed Assessment of Children’s Pragmatic Development

14 subscales assess a child's communication in wide range of settings and for broad variety of functions in everyday settings and activities. More »

The items on the LUI’s 14 subscales recognize that a child’s pragmatic competence is influenced by growth in social cognitive understanding, especially children’s theory of mind – their understanding of their own and other’s people’s behaviours, mental states and differing perspectives

LUI Parts and Subscales # Items
Part 1: How your child communicates with gestures 13
Subscale A How your child uses gestures to ask for something 11
Subscale B How your child uses gestures to get you to notice something 2
Part 2: Your child’s communication with words 28
Subscale C Types of words your child uses 21
Subscale D Your child’s requests for help 7
Subscale E Your child’s interests (written answers – not scored)
Part 3: Your child’s longer sentences 133
Subscale F How your child uses words to get you to notice something 6
Subscale G Your child’s questions and comments about things 9
Subscale H Your child’s questions and comments about themselves or other people 36
Subscale I Your child’s use of words in activities with others 14
Subscale J Teasing and your child’s sense of humour 5
Subscale K Your child’s interest in words and language 12
Subscale L Your child’s interests when talking (written answers - not scored)
Subscale M How your child adapts conversation to other people 15
Subscale N How your child is building longer sentences and stories 36

In total there are 180 questions on the LUI and most require only a yes/no answer. Parents can usually complete it in about 20 minutes and report finding it enjoyable, interesting, and easy to complete. For parents, the LUI is self-explanatory, with all directions needed for completion provided on the questionnaire.

Further details and description of the content of the LUI can be found in O'Neill (2007) as well in the LUI Manual.

Norms at Every Month from 18 to 47 Months

The LUI is a standardized measure and provides a percentile score for a child’s overall performance on the LUI, as well as his or her performance on each scored subscale, that reflects the child’s rank (e.g., 25th percentile) relative to other children of the same sex and age in months based on the norms for the LUI. More »

Percentile scores are provided on the LUI for each month (18 months to 47 months) and so a direct comparison with children of the same age in months is possible. For example, if a male 35-month-old child's Total LUI raw score places him at the 22nd percentile, then this score places him higher than or equal to the score of 22% of similarly aged 35-month-old boys and lower than the remaining 88% of 35-month-old boys according to the norms of the LUI.

If preferred or necessary for reporting purposes, a child’s percentile score(s) can easily be converted to a standard (z) score if preferred using standard conversion tables. The LUI is a norm-referenced assessment based on administration to over 3500 children.

If a user is using the LUI with a child whose age falls outside of the norms (e.g., 5-year-old child with ASD), a LUI Child Report will be automatically generated following scoring that converts the child’s scores to a language-age equivalent score for all subscales and Parts where this is permissible (computationally, according to best practice).

Easy Automated Scoring

For both online and hardcopy users of the LUI, the LUI’s scoring is automated and a detailed LUI Child Report is automatically generated. More »

For Online LUI Users who use our online platform to administer the LUI with parents online in their office or via a link sent to parents, the completed LUI will be automatically scored and a copy of the completed LUI questionnaire and an accompanying detailed LUI Child Report will be automatically generated and delivered instantly to a user’s secure account.

For Hardcopy LUI Users who administer the LUI in pen and pencil version, the LUI Scoring Calculator automates scoring of the LUI. Purchase of the LUI entitles the user to a free access to the online LUI Scoring Calculator. Users enter raw subscale scores, easily summed from the questionnaire in less than 5 minutes. From there, as for users of the online LUI, a copy of the completed LUI questionnaire and an accompanying detailed LUI Child Report will be automatically generated and delivered instantly to a user’s secure account. (See an example of a LUI Hardcopy Child Report)

Get updates and connect with other users and the LUI’s developer on Facebook

On our Facebook page we will provide all updates relevant to the LUI – new features, new research studies using the LUI, new translations and other news regarding the LUI. More »

You can use Facebook to connect with us or the LUI’s developer, Professor Daniela O’Neill, to ask questions, share experiences and advice, or provide feedback. We definitely want to hear your suggestions for ways we can make any aspect of the online platform, LUI Child Reports, scoring and any other features of the LUI better.

We are committed to making the LUI as easy and as efficient to use as possible for users and to responding to questions and feedback as quickly as possible.