Readiness and Patterns of Growth in Children With SELI Readiness for language change is a concept that underlies parents' and clinicians' views about how to manage children with language impairments. Various notions exist about how to determine when a child is ready to learn a particular language behavior, but none are well substantiated. The purpose of this study was ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1996
Readiness and Patterns of Growth in Children With SELI
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Steven H. Long
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Lesley B. Olswang
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Contact author: Steven H. Long, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, 11206 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1996
Readiness and Patterns of Growth in Children With SELI
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 1996, Vol. 5, 79-85. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0501.79
History: Received August 12, 1994 , Accepted June 15, 1995
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 1996, Vol. 5, 79-85. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0501.79
History: Received August 12, 1994; Accepted June 15, 1995

Readiness for language change is a concept that underlies parents' and clinicians' views about how to manage children with language impairments. Various notions exist about how to determine when a child is ready to learn a particular language behavior, but none are well substantiated. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a child's state of readiness to learn a language behavior, as measured by a dynamic assessment (stimulability) task, would predict the pattern of learning. Participants in the study were 21 children, ages 31–36 months, who showed a specific impairment of expressive language. They took part in a 9-week program. Seventeen children participated in an intensive 3-week treatment, organized in a baseline-intervention-withdrawal design. Weekly language samples were taken from all children, and growth patterns were identified by fitting logarithmic and linear curves to plots of MLU scores. The results indicated little relationship between the children's readiness, as measured by dynamic assessment, and their patterns of growth, despite a strong correlation between measured readiness and amount of growth. This finding is discussed in relation to individual differences, procedures for dynamic assessment, and the need for greater attention to the issue of readiness by researchers and clinicians alike.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Grant #R29-DC00431, Predicting the Benefits of Treatment. The completion of this paper was supported by a Fulbright Scholarship awarded to Dr. Olswang during 1994– 1995, The Fulbright Commission, London, England. The authors wish to express their appreciation to Marc Fey, Christine Dollaghan, Kenn Apel, and Jim Ha for their helpful comments. Portions of this paper were presented at the Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison, June 1994.
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