Early Speech-Language Impairment and Risk for Written Language Disorder: A Population-Based Study
ABSTRACT : To compare risk of written language disorder (WLD) in children with and without speech-language impairment (S/LI) from a population-based cohort.
: Subjects included all children born between 1976 and 1982 in Rochester, Minnesota, who remained in the community after age 5 years (n = 5718). Records from public and private schools, medical agencies, and tutoring services were abstracted. S/LI was determined based on eligibility criteria for an individualized education plan. Incident cases of WLD were identified by research criteria using regression-based discrepancy, non-regression-based discrepancy, and low-achievement formulas applied to cognitive and academic achievement tests. Incidence of WLD (with or without reading disorder [RD]) was compared between children with and without S/LI. Associations were summarized using hazard ratios.
: Cumulative incidence of WLD by age 19 years was significantly higher in children with S/LI than in children without S/LI. The magnitude of association between S/LI and WLD with RD was significantly higher for girls than for boys. This was not true for the association between S/LI and WLD without RD.
: Risk for WLD is significantly increased among children with S/LI compared with children without S/LI based on this population-based cohort. Early identification and intervention for children at risk for WLD could potentially influence academic outcomes.
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ABSTRACT: Effectiveness of iPad computerized writing instruction was evaluated for 4th-9th graders (n = 35) with diagnosed specific learning disabilities (SLDs) affecting writing: dysgraphia (impaired handwriting), dyslexia (impaired spelling), and oral and written language learning disability (OWL LD) (impaired syntax composing). Each of the 18 two-hour lessons had multiple learning activities aimed at improving subword- (handwriting), word- (spelling), and syntax- (sentence composing) level language skills by engaging all four language systems (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) to create a functional writing system. To evaluate treatment effectiveness, normed measures of handwriting, spelling, and composing were used with the exception of one non-normed alphabet writing task. Results showed that the sample as a whole improved significantly from pretest to posttest in three handwriting measures, four spelling measures, and both written and oral syntax construction measures. All but oral syntax was evaluated with pen and paper tasks, showing that the computer writing instruction transferred to better writing with pen and paper. Performance on learning activities during instruction correlated with writing outcomes; and individual students tended to improve in the impaired skill associated with their diagnosis. Thus, although computers are often used in upper elementary school and middle school in the United States (US) for accommodations (alternatives to pen and paper) for students with persisting SLDs affecting writing, this study shows computers can also be used for Tier 3 instruction to improve the writing skills of students in grades 4-9 with history of persisting writing disabilities.Computers & Education 02/2015; 81. DOI:10.1016/j.compedu.2014.10.005 · 2.63 Impact Factor