And more

Aguilar-Mediavilla et al. found that bilingual (Spanish–Catalan) children with developmental language disorder also have difficulties with auditory discrimination and speech sounds. Specifically, they had difficulty perceiving minimal pairs, producing complex words, and delayed phoneme production compared to typical peers. These difficulties may put children at an even greater risk for literacy difficulties.

Fisher et al. found lots of variability in the language profiles of 3rd and 4th graders with dyslexia. Some struggled with structural tasks—like the CELF Recalling and Formulating Sentences subtests—while others had difficulty with functional tasks like oral narrative retell and generation (Test of Narrative Language). So be sure to use both structural and functional tasks during your language assessments so you can pinpoint individual breakdowns for kids with dyslexia.

Namasivayam et al. found (surprisingly) that preschoolers with motor speech disorders (including apraxia and dysarthria) had similar outcomes when receiving either one or two sessions of therapy per week. Children demonstrated clinically significant improvements with just once-per-week sessions for 45 minutes.  

Redmond et al. looked at sentence repetition and past-tense marking as screeners for language impairment in elementary-age children. They found that both screeners looked promising, but the specific cutoffs depended on the comparison standard they used.  

Roy & Chiat confirmed that the Early Sociocognitive Battery (ESB) could be used to identify preschool children with language delay who were at risk for school-age social communication problems (including ASD). By assessing children with nonverbal tasks of sociocognition (i.e., social responsiveness, joint attention and symbolic comprehension), they found that the tool could predict which children were at risk for social communication difficulties not only across age groups, but for children from diverse language backgrounds.

*Although not yet commercially available, the ESB is planned to be available in the UK in late 2019, and in other locations soon after. We’ll bring you a link, here, once it’s available!

Tortorelli suggests that Lexile levels, which are based on word frequency and sentence length, may not give us a full picture of the complexity of a reading passage. In this study, semantic complexity and text cohesion measures were needed to more accurately predict how challenging texts would be for second graders to read. The author used the Coh-Metrix Text Easability Assessor, and mentions other tools that could be useful in practice, too.

Wilson et al. found that in a sample of adolescents with Down Syndrome (DS), 97.8% met criteria for motor speech disorders. Speech, prosody, and voice symptoms of participants were most consistent with ataxic dysarthria, although CAS and other types of dysarthria were present as well. The type and severity of motor speech disorders in individuals with DS will dictate treatment goals and methods.


Aguilar-Mediavilla, E., Buil-Legaz, L., & Sanchez-Azanza, V.A. (2019). Speech profiles of Spanish-Catalan children with developmental language disorder. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. doi: 10.1080/02699206.2019.1619096.

Fisher, E. L., Barton-Hulsey, A., Walters, C., Sevcik, R. A., & Morris, R. (2019). Executive functioning and narrative language in children with dyslexia. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. doi:10.1044/2019_AJSLP-18-0106.

Namasivayam, A.K., Pukonen, M., Goshulak, D., Granata, F., Le, D.J., Kroll, R., & van Lieshout, P. (2019). Investigating intervention dose frequency for children with speech sound disorders and motor speech involvement. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12472.

Redmond, S. M., Ash, A. C., Christopulos, T. T., & Pfaff, T. (2019). Diagnostic accuracy of sentence recall and past tense measures for identifying children’s language impairments. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. doi: 10.1044/2019_JSLHR-L-18-0388.

Roy, P., & Chiat, S. (2019). The Early Sociocognitive Battery: a clinical tool for early identification of children at risk for social communication difficulties and ASD? International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12477.

Tortorelli, L. S. (2019). Beyond first grade: Examining word, sentence, and discourse text factors associated with oral reading rate in informational text in second grade. Reading and Writing. doi:10.1007/s11145-019-09956-5. 

Wilson, E.M., Abbeduto, L., Camarata, S.M., & Shriberg, L.D. (2019). Estimates of the prevalence of speech and motor disorders in adolescents with Down syndrome. Clinical Linguistics & Phonology. doi: 10.1080/02699206.2019.1595735.