Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hadley, Pamela A.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders


Research studies have demonstrated the impact of a positive family history in children, and the likelihood that they may develop specific language impairment (SLI). SLI is a high incidence condition, estimated to affect 7% of the kindergarten population (Tomblin, Records, Buckwalter, Zhang, Smith, & O'Brien, 1997). SLI is characterized by pronounced difficulty with language development in the absence of frank neurological, cognitive, social, or hearing impairments (Leonard, 1998). Children identified as having SLI display asynchronous language development with pronounced difficulties in the development of morphosyntax. It is important to note that specific language impairment differs from a language delay. A child that demonstrates a language delay would demonstrate language skills that are slow to emerge, but language skills develop in the same sequence seen in typically developing children. Implications of a language delay suggest that a child will overcome the delay and catch up (Reed, 1994). Noting this distinction, it is important to recognize that children identified as language disordered will not simply catch up to their peers. A review of the literature on children at risk for developmental language and/or reading disabilities reveals the importance of early screening and identification for maximizing language and academic outcomes. Thus, best practice would indicate the need to implement early screening and identification of children with or at-risk for language and/or reading disabilities to achieve optimal developmental outcomes.


Includes bibliographical references.


20 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type