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Assessing language at kindergarten age and predicting ongoing risk: Perspectives of clinicians and an update on the evidence

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • BACKGROUND INFORMATION There is compelling evidence that, for the majority of children with specific language impairment (SLI), language difficulties are longstanding. Other research, however, has reported that a high proportion of affected preschool-age children recover by about kindergarten age. Scarborough and Dobrich (1990) have suggested a way to reconcile this apparent paradox, positing that recovery observed at age five is often illusory, with renewed language and literacy challenges emerging in the school years. Apparent recovery may result from temporary plateaus in typical language development and/or limited sensitivity of some measures to detect changes and underlying weaknesses at this age. OBJECTIVES AND METHODS This project is part of a larger study whose goal is to learn about the trajectory of language impairment in children with SLI, and how to best predict risk for later language difficulties. We will begin by conducting a survey of registered speech-language pathologists in Alberta in order to determine current assessment practices and concerns regarding diagnosis and prediction of later difficulties. SIGNIFICANCE Strong linguistic abilities are integral to success in academic and social settings, and are related to better mental health outcomes in adulthood. the notion of "illusory recovery" suggests some children are at risk of 'falling through the cracks' and missing out on crucial language intervention because they appear (falsely) to have caught up to their peers. The knowledge generated by this research will ultimately support better identification of those children who require continued support.

  • Date created
    2015-06-30
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Report
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3MC8RW4Z
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International