A Comparison of Early Literacy Skills in Children With Specific Language Impairment and Their Typically Developing Peers Although children with language impairments often experience difficulties learning to read and write, very little research has examined early developing skills in this population. In this project, preschool children with specific language impairment and peers matched for age, gender, and socioeconomic status were compared on measures of language, processing, and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1999
A Comparison of Early Literacy Skills in Children With Specific Language Impairment and Their Typically Developing Peers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donna M. Boudreau
    University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Natalie L. Hedberg
    University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Contact author: Donna Boudreau, PhD, Portland State University, Speech and Hearing Sciences Program, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751.
    Contact author: Donna Boudreau, PhD, Portland State University, Speech and Hearing Sciences Program, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751.×
Article Information
Development / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1999
A Comparison of Early Literacy Skills in Children With Specific Language Impairment and Their Typically Developing Peers
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1999, Vol. 8, 249-260. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0803.249
History: Received November 3, 1998 , Accepted April 9, 1999
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1999, Vol. 8, 249-260. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0803.249
History: Received November 3, 1998; Accepted April 9, 1999

Although children with language impairments often experience difficulties learning to read and write, very little research has examined early developing skills in this population. In this project, preschool children with specific language impairment and peers matched for age, gender, and socioeconomic status were compared on measures of language, processing, and print-related skills. Results revealed that the children with language impairments performed more poorly than typical peers on tasks measuring knowledge of rhyme, letter names, and concepts related to print. Despite poorer performance of the group with SLI on narrative measures of linguistic structure, recall of information, and total events included, no significant differences were observed on inclusion of components identified as critical to overall plot line. Findings suggest that difficulties extend across early developing skills known to be important for both decoding and comprehension.

Authors Note
The writing of this article was based on a doctoral dissertation by the first author in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and supported in part by a Post-doctoral Fellowship grant awarded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (T32 HD07489). We are indebted to Boulder Valley, St. Vrain Valley, and Douglas County Public School Districts and staff; as well as Boulder Day Nursery, Friends-N-Fun, and Children’s House preschools. Special thanks to Linda Marman, Mary Bird, and Tara Neuman for their assistance in recruiting subjects and to the many children and families who participated in this study.
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