Profile of Australian preschool children with speech sound disorders at risk for literacy difficulties

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McLeod, Sharynne ; Crowe, Kathryn ; Masso, Sarah ; Baker, Elise ; McCormack, Jane ; Wren, Yvonne ; Roulstone, Susan ; Howland, Charlotte (2017)
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1080/19404158.2017.1287105
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: behavioral disciplines and activities | otorhinolaryngologic diseases

Background: Speech sound disorders are a common communication difficulty in preschool children. Teachers indicate difficulty identifying and supporting these children.\ud \ud Aim: To describe speech and language characteristics of children identified by their parents and/or teachers as having possible communication concerns.\ud \ud Method: 275 Australian 4- to 5-year-old children from 45 preschools whose parents and teachers were concerned about their talking participated in speech-language pathology assessments to examine speech, language, literacy, non-verbal intelligence, oromotor skills and hearing.\ud Results: The majority (71.3%) of children demonstrated lower consonant accuracy than expected for their age, 63.9% did not pass the language-screening task, 65.5% had not been assessed and 72.4% had not received intervention from a speech-language pathologist. The 132 children who were identified with speech sound disorder (phonological impairment) were more likely to be male (62.9%) who were unintelligible to unfamiliar listeners, and had poor emergent literacy and phonological processing skills, despite having typical hearing, oral structures, and intelligence. \ud \ud Conclusion: Children identified by parents and teachers with concerns may have a range of speech, language and communication needs requiring professional support.
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