SpeechPathology.com Phone: 800-242-5183


Progressus Therapy

Pre-Reading Speech and Language Disorders and Dyslexia

Karen Fallon, Ph.D

June 19, 2006

Share:

Question

Is there any relationship between pre-reading speech and language disorder and dyslexia?

Answer

The research literature most definitely indicates that children who demonstrate speech and language impairments in their preschool and kindergarten years are more likely than typically-developing children to present with language learning disabilities (e.g., dyslexia) in their school-age years (e.g., Catts & Kamhi, 2005). Several studies suggest that young children with speech and language impairments are at any increased risk for reading/writing disabilities. However, the exact relationship between speech, language, and literacy skills development is still debated in the literature (Nathan, Stackhouse, Goulandris, & Snowling, 2004). Studies have suggested several variables involved in the developmental equation including type of disorder (e.g., speech impairment, language impairment, mixed speech and language impairment) and the specific communication areas affected (e.g., vocabulary skills). A number of key language skills including vocabulary, narrative skills, and phonemic awareness have been identified pivotal in the development of literacy skills (e.g., Catts & Kamhi, 2005; Nathan et al., 2004). In addition to the specific language skills affected, some researchers have suggested a critical time period for remediation of speech/language impairments. Specifically, some studies have reported that children who continue to present with speech/language problems as they enter first grade are at a higher risk for reading/writing disabilities (Bird, Bishop, & Freeman, 1995; Bishop & Adams, 1990). Although some of the relationships continue to be debated, these data can offer some important clinical implications for speech language pathologists working with young children.

The application of these data to the practice of speech-language pathologists suggests a number of important points. First, when planning assessments and intervention for young children, clinicians should be aware of the key communication skills that could affect literacy outcomes. Language assessments should include measures of vocabulary, syntax, narrative skills and phonemic awareness skills. Weaknesses found in any of these areas should be given consideration when developing and prioritizing intervention goals and treatment plans. Some researchers have suggested that early identification of and intervention to address weaknesses in key language skills such as vocabulary and phonemic awareness could actually improve the reading/writing outcomes of young children (Catts & Kamhi, 2005).

In addition, understanding the potentially critical time period for remediation argues convincingly for the importance of early intervention and early identification of children at-risk for reading/writing disabilities. Speech-language pathologists working as early interventionists have a responsibility to educate parents and consult with the school clinicians so that they may advocate for the at-risk children. Similarly, speech-language pathologists working with school-age children with speech/language impairments not previously identified, need to address areas of communication weakness as well as consult with classroom teachers, With the understanding of the critical relationship between strong language skills and positive literacy outcomes, speech language pathologists play a critical role in the early identification and treatment of spoken and written language disabilities.

References

Bishop, D. V. M., & Adams C. (1990). A prospective study of the relationship between specific language impairment phonological disorders, and reading retardation. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 31(7), 1027-1050.

Bird, J., Bishop, D. V. M., & Freeman, N. H. (1995). Phonological awareness and literacy development in children with expressive phonological impairments. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 38, 446-462.

Catts, H.W. & Kamhi, A.G., (2005). Language and Reading Disabilities. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Nathan, L., Stackhouse, J., Goulandris, N., & Snowling, M. (2004). The development of early literacy skills among children with speech difficulties: A test of the "critical age hypothesis." Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 47, 377-391.

Karen Fallon completed her Ph.D. work at Penn State where she specialized in augmentative and alternative communication, childhood language disorders, and literacy. She is currently on faculty at Towson University where she teaches courses in language disorders, language development, and AAC. Her research interests are in literacy, language disorders, and the application of literacy teaching and principles to persons who use AAC.


karen fallon

Karen Fallon, Ph.D


Related Courses

Reading Comprehension and the SLP: Foundational Understanding
Presented by Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP
Audio

Presenter

Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP
Course: #10763Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'The breakdown of what’s important for comprehensive learning'   Read Reviews
This is Part 1 of a two-part series. This course provides SLPs with foundational knowledge needed to directly address and collaboratively support reading comprehension across all grade levels. Models of language and reading comprehension, comprehension processes vs. products, instruction in comprehension skills vs. strategies, factors in reading comprehension difficulties, and connections to general education are discussed.

Reading Comprehension and the SLP: Contributions of Language
Presented by Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP
Video

Presenter

Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP
Course: #10764Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Great course! So much wonderful information and great therapy strategies'   Read Reviews
This is Part 2 of a two-part series. The connections between reading comprehension and areas of language such as vocabulary, morphosyntax and social communication are described in this course. Implications for intervention/instruction and collaboration with educators are also discussed.

20Q: English Learners and Developmental Language Disorder - ​Strategies to Develop Academic Vocabulary Skills
Presented by Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
Text

Presenter

Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
Course: #10266Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'I have a number of students who fall in the vocabulary vortex with limited knowledge and significant weakness in phonemic awareness from first grade to 8th grade and it feels like I've been treading water and going nowhere'   Read Reviews
This course discusses Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) in English Learners (EL). Specific, research-based strategies are provided for developing academic vocabulary skills and phonological awareness skills in this group of students.

Supporting Children of Poverty: Special Considerations for the School-Based SLP
Presented by Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP
Video

Presenter

Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP
Course: #8735Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Very important information to take back to my Title 1 school'   Read Reviews
This course will provide SLPs with a critically important view of how and why poverty has a tremendous impact on both language learning and academic success. Key strategies for working with school teams and conducting therapy will also be shared.

Developing Authors: Designing Opportunities in AAC Using the Science of Writing
Presented by Janet Sturm, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL
Video

Presenter

Janet Sturm, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL
Course: #9787Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'great info--- like that research included'   Read Reviews
This is Part 1 of the 5-part series, Applying the Science of Reading, Writing, and Oral Language for Students Who Use AAC. The ability to write has enormous power, especially for a student who uses augmentative/alternative communication (AAC). This course describes how students who use AAC can become authors when systematic, sequential and explicit instruction is anchored in the science of writing, and discusses the components and benefits of this type of reading/writing curriculum.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.