Potential Advantages of Introducing Specific Language Impairment to Families Children with language delays1  can be divided broadly into two groups, those with secondary and those with primary language difficulties. Children with secondary language difficulties have language difficulties that are associated with or predicted by sensory, biological, neurological, cognitive, or socioemotional deficits (e.g., hearing impairment, Down syndrome, autism). In ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   February 01, 1999
Potential Advantages of Introducing Specific Language Impairment to Families
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. Melanie Schuele
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Pamela A. Hadley
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Contact author: C. Melanie Schuele, PhD, Infant Child Communication Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 871908, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1908.
    Contact author: C. Melanie Schuele, PhD, Infant Child Communication Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 871908, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1908.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: schuele@asu.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Viewpoints
Viewpoint   |   February 01, 1999
Potential Advantages of Introducing Specific Language Impairment to Families
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 1999, Vol. 8, 11-22. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0801.11
History: Received March 9, 1998 , Accepted November 5, 1998
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 1999, Vol. 8, 11-22. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0801.11
History: Received March 9, 1998; Accepted November 5, 1998
Children with language delays1  can be divided broadly into two groups, those with secondary and those with primary language difficulties. Children with secondary language difficulties have language difficulties that are associated with or predicted by sensory, biological, neurological, cognitive, or socioemotional deficits (e.g., hearing impairment, Down syndrome, autism). In contrast, children with primary language difficulties present with typical development with the exception of language (and in some cases concomitant speech problems). Over the years, children with primary language difficulties have been referred to in the literature and in clinical practice by a number of terms, including speech/language delay, speech/language disorder, speech/language impairment, childhood aphasia, developmental dysphasia, developmental language disorder, language learning disability, and specific language impairment (SLI). Some of these terms have been used for children with secondary language difficulties as well. There has been much discussion from a professional perspective as to the usefulness of these terms and how these terms should be applied in clinical as well as research practices (e.g., Kamhi, 1991, 1998; Lahey, 1990; Plante, 1998). There has been less discussion as to how these terms influence families’ understanding of their children’s difficulties. The purpose of this article is to advocate for the usefulness, primarily from the perspective of families, of SLI as a diagnostic category.
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