And more

  • Remember the Index of Productive Syntax (IPSyn) from grad school? Altenberg et al. modified the instructions to make them a little clearer and reminded us that IPSyn is great for describing preschoolers’ grammatical development. See their updated instructions in the article Appendix and consider giving IPSyn another shot.


  • Baron et al. found that school-age children with dyslexia learn new words better when they see them written out (in addition to hearing them). Previous research shows this is also true for children with DLD, autism, and Down syndrome. When teaching new vocabulary to your clients, don’t forget to display written words as you talk about them!


  • Gevarter et al. completed a systematic review of naturalistic interventions for children with complex communication needs. They found the following intervention strategies were common across studies with positive findings: creating communication opportunities, modeling, prompting, providing feedback, and training communication partners.


  • Haukedal et al.’s data reminds us that, just because a child receives cochlear implants (CI) doesn’t mean they’re in the clear when it comes to communication and health-related quality of life. In this study, parents of elementary- and middle school-aged children with CIs reported significantly poorer social interactions and school functioning, compared to children without CIs. Do note, however, that the parents of half the children with CIs reported scores within normal limits. Also, better perceived hearing was associated with better reported scores. No differences between groups were observed on parent-reported emotional or physical health.


  • So, technically we shouldn’t be telling you about this Preston et al. study at all, because it doesn’t fit our criteria of “immediately clinically applicable”. However, we don’t want you to be in the dark about what’s up-and-coming, either. This is a study of the use of ultrasound (so, visual biofeedback) to correct “r”. We’ve now seen a good number of studies using ultrasound for treatment of speech sound disorders, so it’s time to tell you about it—basically, if you do get a chance to ever use ultrasound for speech, take it. Go back to this study, and others (you’ll find the others in the reference section of this paper) and consider it.


  • Roche & Arnold asked neurotypical speakers to either freely express or actively suppress their emotions in a conversation about an upsetting video to see whether it affected their fluency. Speakers who were asked to suppress their emotions produced more interjections/filled pauses than speakers who were instructed to let their feelings fly. More research is needed, but the authors’ results suggest that active emotional regulation may affect language planning and production.


  • For you linguistics lovers, Rombaugh et al. described rules for when the verb BE can and cannot be contracted (e.g., when someone asks you, “Is TISLP awesome?” you can say “It is!” but you can’t say “it’s!”). They then examined how children with and without DLD/SLI conformed to contraction rules when producing the verb BE in ellipsis, inverted yes/no question, and embedded question tasks. They found that children with DLD (SLI) didn’t differ from TD children all that much, suggesting that SLPs’ time might be better spent targeting other areas of morphosyntax for children with DLD/SLI.


  • You know the “wiggle your tongue side-to-side” thing that we do in oral mech exams to determine if the person can move their tongue with a stable jaw? Yeah, this study by Small et al. shows that might be pointless. From children through adults, not only was there a ton of variability in people’s performance on this task, but task performance was also unassociated with age or speech performance—rendering the task, well… pointless (eek!)


  • Sudgen et al. (2018) review on the intensity of treatment for speech sound disorders shows that, in our research literature, intensity is generally: "... intervention two to three times per week in individual sessions... lasting 30–60 minutes..." Note that this review doesn't address what's best; rather, what the norm is. If you’re interested in more info on treatment intensity, check out our Evidence Answer on this topic!


Altenberg, E. P., Roberts, J. A., & Scarborough, H. S. (2018). Young children's structure production: A revision of the Index of Productive Syntax. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0092.

Baron, L. S., Hogan, T. P., Alt, M., Gray, S., Cabbage, K. L., Green, S., & Cowan, N. (2018). Children with dyslexia benefit from orthographic facilitation during spoken word learning. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0336.

Gevarter, C., & Zamora, C. (2018). Naturalistic speech-generating device interventions for children with complex communication needs: A systematic review of single-subject studies. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27, 1073–1090. doi:10.1044/2018_ajslp-17-0128

Haukedal, C.L., Torkildsen, J.V.K., Lyxell, B., & Wie, O.B. (2018). Parents' Perception of Health-Related Quality of Life in Children With Cochlear Implants: The Impact of Language Skills and Hearing. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 61, 2084–2098.

Preston, J.L., McAllister, T., Phillips, E., Boyce, S., Tiede, M., Kim, J.S., Whalen, D.H. (2018). Treatment for Residual Rhotic Errors With High- and Low-Frequency Ultrasound Visual Feedback: A Single-Case Experimental Design. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 61, 1875–1892.

Roche, J. M. & Arnold, H. S. (2018). The effects of emotion suppression during language planning and production. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 61, 2076-2083. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0232

Rombough, K. & Thornton, R. (2018). The linguistic constraint of contraction in children with SLI. Journal of Communication Disorders. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2018.05.005

Small, H.C., McAllister, T., Grigos, M.I. (2018). Investigating the Use of a Nonspeech Task to Measure Tongue–Jaw Differentiation: Findings Across Typical Development. American Journal of Speech–Language Pathology, 27, 1030–1038.

Sudgen, E., Baker, E., Munro, N., Williams, L., Trivette, C.M. (2018) Service delivery and intervention intensity for phonology‐based speech sound disorders. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12399.