Balthazar & Scott found that 9 weeks of direct instruction on complex, multi-clause sentence structures led to significant gains on experimenter-created probe tasks and the CELF-4 Core Language Score for 11–14 year-olds with language disorder. The scripted treatment activities included explanations, examples, and guided practice at the sentence level and with sentences embedded in short passages.
Grasso et al. found that while bilingual children with language disorder were less accurate in a naming task compared to typically developing peers, they showed the same “cognate advantage,” meaning they produced cognates (like tiger in English and tigre in Spanish) more accurately than non-cognates (table/mesa). The authors suggest that cognates may be practical intervention targets for bilingual children with language disorders, since knowing a difficult word in one language likely means knowing its cognate in the other. (EDIT 3/19/18: Hey SLPs! We realized you'll need some cognates lists/references to put this research to practice. Check here.)
Janus et al. found that children with speech and language difficulties in kindergarten were more likely to have lower academic achievement in third grade. Even though the majority (72.3%) of these students no longer received services and were considered “remittent,” they experienced greater academic difficulties compared to those students who never had speech and language difficulties. These results highlight the critical need for effective assessment, early intervention, and continued monitoring of student outcomes.
Tumanova et al. found that parental concern about stuttering is associated with more stuttered disfluencies on the Test of Childhood Stuttering (TOCS) and higher ratings on the TOCS speech fluency scale. Parental rating scales may be a reliable way to determine the severity of a child’s fluency disorder, especially for children who show reduced verbal output with unfamiliar adults.
Wren et al. systematically categorized all evidence-based interventions for speech-sound disorders for children under 6 into environmental, auditory perceptual, cognitive-linguistic, production, and integrated approaches. Take a look at the article for a plethora of sources on various types of speech-sound treatments, as well as some very handy visuals.
Zoski et al. give some guidance on teaching older students to grapple with big words in their science classes by focusing on morphology. Scientific terms are extra tricky, since they’re often long, with lots of morphemes and unpredictable pronunciation patterns (think “muscle” vs. “muscular”). Check out the article for sample teaching methods, lesson plans, and a list of prefixes and suffixes to focus on.
Balthazar, C. H., & Scott, C. M. (2018). Targeting Complex Sentences in Older School Children With Specific Language Impairment: Results From an Early-Phase Treatment Study. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0105.
Grasso, S. M., Peña, E. D., Bedore, L. M., Hixon, J. G., & Griffin, Z. M. (2018). Cross-linguistic cognate production in Spanish–English bilingual children with and without specific language impairment. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 1-15. doi:10.1044/2017_jslhr-l-16-0421.
Janus, M., Labonté, C., Kirkpatrick, R., Davies, S., & Duku, E. (2017). The impact of speech and language problems in kindergarten on academic learning and special education status in grade three. International Journal of Speech-language Pathology, 1-14. doi:10.1080/17549507.2017.1381164.
Nowell, S. W., Watson, L. R., Faldowski, R. A., & Baranek, G. T. (2018). An initial psychometric evaluation of the joint attention protocol. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s10803-017-3458-9.
Tumanova, V., Choi, D., Conture, E. G., Walden, T.A. (2018). Expressed parental concern regarding childhood stuttering and the Test of Childhood Stuttering. Journal of Communication Disorders. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.jcomdis.2018.01.002.
Wren, Y., Harding, S., Goldbart, J., & Roulstone, S. (2018). A systematic review and classification of interventions for speech-sound disorder in preschool children. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12371.
Zoski, J. L., Nellenbach, K. M., & Erickson, K. A. (2018). Using Morphological Strategies to Help Adolescents Decode, Spell, and Comprehend Big Words in Science. Communication Disorders Quarterly. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/1525740117752636.