Each month, we hand-search 87 top journals in pediatric speech–language pathology for the newest articles relevant to Pediatric SLPs. From a stack of 100+ articles per month, we narrow it down to those immediately applicable to clinical practice, and review them here! Read more about our process here.

 
 

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Can older children with language disorders improve vocabulary in just 30 minutes a week? (Yes!)

Targeting vocabulary skills with older children with language disorders seems like a no-brainer. However, according to Wright et al., “We know of no studies specifically aiming to improve receptive vocabulary in secondary-aged children with identified [developmental language disorder (DLD)].” Yikes. To address this evidence gap, the researchers set out to see whether 25 secondary age (i.e., 9- to 16-year-old) children with language disorders...

 

Language of school and SES matter in standardized testing of bilinguals

Assessing children from diverse language backgrounds can be a challenge, but at least for Spanish speakers, SLPs have a decent array of resources available—including a growing number of standardized tests. The CELF–4S is one of these, designed to diagnose language disorders in Spanish speakers (mono- or bilingual) from 5–21 years old. It’s not just a Spanish translation of the English CELF, but is written specifically for speakers of Spanish. Great, right? The problem is that the norming sample for this test was somewhat smaller than what’s recommended, and so the norms in the test manual may not be valid for all groups... 

 

Throwback (2006): The evidence-based way to interpret standardized language test scores

When you give a standardized language test to a child, how do you interpret his or her standard score to decide if a disorder is present, or if services should be offered? Is the magic number 85 (1 standard deviation below the mean)? Does your district or state give you some other number to use? And yet, there is no universal magic number. Instead...

 

School-age language with history of prematurity

SLPs know that prematurity affects brain development, and is a risk factor for speech–language delay. But how great of a risk factor, exactly? There are many studies of the cognitive and linguistic outcomes associated with prematurity. This study is unique, though, as a meta-analysis of available research on language outcomes in children ages 5–9 years old. This helps us to address the question of, “Do these preterm infants catch up?”

 

Throwback (2015): What and how to teach AAC communication partners

We all know that communication is a two-way street—in order to be effective, there must be give-and-take, back-and-forth. Unfortunately, in the case of AAC users, the importance of the communication partner is often minimized. It makes some sense: using AAC is not intuitive, and there is a lot to teach, so we focus on the communicator. So, what’s the problem here? We’re neglecting the other half of the communication process!

 

Throwback (2007): Teaching print concepts to young children with language disorder—No response required!

We know that children with language disorder often experience difficulty acquiring early literacy skills. One key skill is knowledge of print concepts. Explicit strategies that encourage young children to respond to print-related questions and verbal prompts during book reading can enhance print awareness (Ezell & Justice, 2000), and strategies like dialogic reading (Whitehurst et al., 1988), which allow children to answer questions and participate at their individual language levels, have a positive impact on language skills. But, are these strategies effective for young children with language disorder? 

 

And more…

On phonology, language sampling, written language, AAC...

 

Perspective Pieces: On ways to “do” evidence-based practice for stuttering

This past month, ASHA’s Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools journal published a “Clinical Forum” on stuttering. This series, an introduction and two articles each on preschool and adolescent treatment, gives a sort of master class on how experts...