And more

Crasta et al. found that a simple bedside assessment of motor skills (PANESS) helped to predict executive functioning skills in children with TBI. What does this have to do with SLPs, you ask? Since executive functioning deficits are related to social skills and verbal problem solving, it means that regardless of setting, you can pass this article on to physicians and physical therapists to help drive more appropriate referrals your way.

Eisenberg et al. found that the Fluharty-2 Preschool Speech and Language Screening Test was more effective for ruling out a language impairment rather than identifying children with language impairment. Many children who failed the screening later passed the SPELT-P2 and Language Sample Analysis. The authors suggest the Fluharty-2 may not be an efficient screening tool, and suggest using a variety of measures to identify children with language impairment.

Gladfelter et al. found that kids with ASD and kids with DLD benefit more from visual cues when learning new word meanings (compared to kids with typical language development). Keep on using those visuals, they are evidence-based!

Green et al. surveyed school-based SLPs and found that—even though we hear so much about the benefits of push-in, classroom-based services—most of us still use and prefer a pull-out model, most of the time. The biggest “keys to success” with a push-in model included (prepare to be… not surprised) a good collaborative relationship with the classroom teacher and adequate prep and planning time.

LARRC et al. analyzed data from a massive study using a language arts curriculum supplement called Let’s Know! with 1st–3rd graders. They found that it increased reading comprehension skills, supporting previous research showing that language skills support reading comprehension. The whole curriculum is freely available, so share it with your teacher friends or adapt it to use in your language sessions!

Miller et al. found that children with suspected childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) had reading difficulties when they also had poor oral language, speech production, and phonological awareness skills. An “integrated phonological approach” to treating CAS may help improve all of these areas and decrease risk for later literacy disorders. See here for more info on this approach.

Moonsamy & Carolus had an SLP train an early childhood education teacher in a developing country to implement classroom literacy lessons. The study was small, but results showed that their approach was feasible and that children’s print concept skills improved.

Safer-Lichtenstein et al. remind us of a weakness in the literature around group social skills interventions for ASD: the participants in treatment studies are overwhelmingly white and male, without intellectual disabilities, and from a higher-SES background. If your social skills groups match these demographics… great! If not, you may have more trouble finding and adapting appropriate interventions for your students.

Caregiver burden and stress (and their effects on long term outcomes) are well documented in the world of pediatric TBI. If you have kids with TBI on your caseload, you’re probably already hard at work addressing executive functioning and social skill deficits and advocating for appropriate accommodations. But what can SLPs do to help families navigate the behavioral changes that accompany TBI (anxiety, withdrawal, “acting out”, or irritability, to name a few)? A new study by Wade et al. analyzed multiple randomized control trials Online Family Problem Solving Therapy (OPFST), a therapy approach for mental health clinicians to use with families of children with TBI. OFPST was found to be effective “in improving child behavior, parent distress, and family functioning” even at 18 months post-treatment. Finding local or telehealth options for clinicians that provide OPFST might be helpful for families who are struggling. …but also note this detail from the study! Social skills did not improve to the extent that other measures did, meaning you (the SLP!) still have an important role to play in pediatric TBI recovery. 

No tablet? No problem! Werfel et al. found that tablets and flashcards were both effective in increasing kindergarten children’s speech sound knowledge. However, flashcards were more efficient compared to tablets, with students meeting mastery almost five sessions faster, on average!

Twenty-five families of children with tracheostomies participated in written quality of life questionnaires with Westwood et al. The authors found that both the children and parents score lower on quality of life compared to many other serious, chronic childhood diseases. Where can you make a difference? Recurring themes included anxiety around communicating feelings effectively with health care providers and worry that providers do not fully understand them, meaning thoughtful and open communication with these families might make a difference in their lives. Social isolation was another significant concern for a many of the caregivers in this study. Perhaps you know about parent support groups or play groups where these families might find a sense of community? (Or maybe you’ve even thought of starting one!) Connecting families with resources like these may help mitigate the concerns revealed in this research.

 

Crasta, J. E., Slomine, B. S., Mahone, E. M., & Suskauer, S. J. (2019). Subtle Motor Signs and Executive Functioning in Chronic Paediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: Brief Report. Developmental Neurorehabilitation. doi:10.1080/17518423.2019.1655676

Eisenberg, S., Victorino, K., & Murray, S. (2019). Concurrent validity of the Fluharty Preschool Speech and Language Screening Test Second Edition at age 3: Comparison with four diagnostic measures. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. doi:10.1044/2019_LSHSS-18-0099 

Gladfelter, A., Barron, K.L., & Johnson, E. (2019). Visual and verbal semantic productions in children with ASD, DLD, and typical language. Journal of Communication Disorders. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2019.105921

Green, L., Chance, P., & Stockholm, M. (2019). Implementation and Perceptions of Classroom-Based Service Delivery: A Survey of Public School Clinicians. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. doi:10.1044/2019_LSHSS-18-0101

Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC), Jiang, H., & Logan, J. (2019). Improving reading comprehension in the primary grades: Mediated effects of a language-focused classroom intervention. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. doi:10.1044/2019_JSLHR-L-19-0015

Miller, G.J., Lewis, B., Benchek, P. Freebairn, L., Tag, J., Budge, K, … Stein, C. (2019). Reading outcomes for individuals with histories of suspected childhood apraxia of speech. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. doi:10.1044/2019_AJSLP-18-0132

Moonsamy, S., & Carolus, S. (2019). Emergent literacy support for children from marginalized populations. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica. doi:10.1159/000493893

Safer-Lichtenstein, J., Hamilton, J. C., & McIntyre, L. L. (2019). Examining Demographics in Randomized Controlled Trials of Group-Based Social Skills Interventions for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi:10.1007/s10803-019-04063-4

Wade, S. L., Fisher, A. P., Kaizar, E. E., Yeates, K. O., Taylor, H. G., & Zhang, N. (2019). Recovery Trajectories of Child and Family Outcomes Following Online Family Problem-Solving Therapy for Children and Adolescents after Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. doi:10.1017/s1355617719000778 

Werfel, K.L., Brooks. M.C., & Fitton, L. (2019). The comparative efficiency of speech sound interventions that differ by delivery modality: Flashcards versus tablet. Communication Disorders Quarterly. doi: 10.1177/1525740119859520

Westwood, E. L., Hutchins, J. V., & Thevasagayam, R. (2019). Quality of life in paediatric tracheostomy patients and their caregivers – A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. doi:10.1016/j.ijporl.2019.109606