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Researchers Develop Tool to Identify Bilingual Children with True Language Disorders

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[Source: University of Texas]
According to the 2000 census, nearly one-third of Texans ages 5 years and older speak Spanish at home. Add the under-5 population and the percentage is even higher. Due to continued immigration and globalism, the bilingual population will continue to grow in Texas.
Five to 8 percent of preschoolers experience a speech-language disorder, one of the most common childhood disabilities, but also one of the most treatable when identified early. Speech disorders include difficulty pronouncing sounds, articulation problems and stuttering, while language disorders involve difficulty expressing ideas and understanding what is heard. Because language is the foundation of communication, untreated speech-language disorders can lead to struggles with reading, school absenteeism, behavioral issues and academic failure.
Elizabeth Peña, professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, researches how children from diverse linguistic backgrounds learn new language skills and how they lexicalize their conceptual knowledge across two languages.
School-based speech pathologists work with children to identify speech-language disorders and provide the treatment they need. Bilingual children, with emerging language skills in two languages, add another layer to the complexity.
Read the Rest of this Article on the University of Texas Website

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