Worth Repeating: Effective Interventions for Specific Language Impairment
Elin Thordardottir, Ph.D., School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University
Published online 05-24-07 in the Canadian Language & Literacy Research Network in their Encyclopedia of Language and Literacy Development
Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is diagnosed in children who evidence significant developmental difficulty which manifests primarily in the area of language. The term “language” is used here to refer to difficulty in aspects such as vocabulary and grammar, and is differentiated from “speech” impairments such as articulation impairments or stuttering. Language is an important part of almost all daily activities, social and academic. As a result, language impairments have a significant impact on children’s success and well-being. This article discusses the main types of interventions available for the remediation of language impairment in childhood and their efficacy. Language impairment in childhood can occur as the primary diagnostic factor or as part of a more general developmental disorder (specific versus non-specific language impairment). In some respects, the intervention approach may vary depending on the children’s diagnostic category in order to take into account differences in developmental profiles and learning styles. To a large extent, however, interventions are more similar than different across diagnostic categories, being tailored to fit the individual child’s language level, cognitive ability, communicative needs and interests. This review will, however, focus on studies on children whose primary deficit is in the area of language.
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