Last updated on July 2019

Manipulating Linguistic Complexity to Improve Child Language Treatment Outcomes


Are you eligible to participate in this study?

You may be eligible for this study if you meet the following criteria:

  • Conditions: Developmental language disorder | Speech Sound Disorder
  • Age: Between 3 - 6 Years
  • Gender: Male or Female

Participants will be recruited through announcements to schools and community organizations. Data will include caregiver-reported demographic data, scores on the standardized tests, digital recordings of subjects' spontaneous language, treatment probes and generalization probes, computerized analyses of speech/language samples and probes, and transcribed responses from speech/language samples and probes. All such data will be collected following caregiver consent and child assent. Further, all data will be collected at the SDSU clinic, with the exception of the caregiver report, which may be completed by the caregiver at home.

Screening procedures will include administration of the following:

  • Caregiver report of child history and language background, binaural hearing screening,
  • Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation 3 (GFTA3; English) or Bilingual English-Spanish Assessment (BESA; Spanish),
  • Preschool Language Scales (PLS; English or Spanish),
  • Leiter-R, spontaneous language sample, and
  • Protocol for the Assessment of English Phonotactics (PEEP; English) or Assessment of Spanish Phonology (ASP; Spanish).

Children who meet the inclusionary criteria below will be classified as having PD, SLI, or PD-SLI, per those criteria.

INCLUSIONARY CRITERIA:

All participating children must meet the following inclusionary criteria:

  • between the ages of 3 and 6 years of age;
  • speak Spanish (Experiment 1) or English (Experiments 2 and 3);
  • present with phonological disorder (PD, n = 22), specific language impairment (SLI, n
    • 6), or co-occurring PD-SLI (n = 18) (see below for additional criteria for inclusion).

The research program will over-recruit at 60 children, to reach the desired 46 participants. Participants will complete a battery of assessment measures. Information gleaned from these measures will be used to further determine eligibility for the proposed study, which include both quantitative and qualitative criteria. Specifically, all PD (Experiments 1 and 2) and PD-SLI (Experiment 2 and 3) participants must:

  • exhibit 5 or more sounds in error across three or more speech sound manner classes;
  • score 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on the GFTA3, if English-speaking;
  • score 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on the Phonology subtest of the BESA, if Spanish-speaking; and
  • exhibit 20% accuracy on consonants and clusters independent of tense morphemes.

Moreover, all SLI (Experiment 3) and PD-SLI (Experiments 2 and 3) participants must:

  • score 1 standard deviation below the mean on the Preschool Language Scales (PLS), a test of expressive and receptive language; and
  • exhibit a mean length of utterance (MLU) 1 standard deviation below the mean for age- and demographic-matched peers, based on a language sample.

EXCLUSIONARY CRITERIA:

All participants (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) must:

  • not be receiving speech/language services elsewhere;
  • pass a binaural hearing screening at 20 decibels;
  • achieve score above a standard score of 70 on a test of nonverbal cognition (Leiter-R); and
  • have typical intellectual, hearing, social-emotional, and neurological development, per parent report.

In addition, to rule out concomitant difficulty in other domains of language all PD participants (Experiments 1 and 2) must:

  • score > 1 standard deviation below the mean on the PLS, if English-speaking;
  • have an MLU > 1 standard deviation below the mean for age- and demographic-matched peers, based on a language sample.

To rule out concomitant difficulty in phonology, the SLI participants (Experiment 3) must:

  • score > 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on the GFTA3; and
  • exhibit fewer than 5 sounds in error and > 20% accuracy on final consonants and clusters independent of tense morphemes.

If the above criteria are not met, a child will be excluded from participation.

Recruitment Status: Open


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