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Identification and assessment of specific language impairment in preschool children

Nika Puc (2019) Identification and assessment of specific language impairment in preschool children. MSc thesis.

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    Developmental language disorders, which speech and language pathologists encounter already in preschool children, represent an important and large part of speech and language disorders. Language problems can have a negative effect on cognitive and psychosocial development of a child and can insist the whole life. It is of vital importance to recognize the disorders early and to offer suitable professional help as soon as possible. Specific language impairments are a part of developmental language disorders, in which we cannot attribute the cause for language problems to cognitive, neurological and emotional disorders or hearing disorders. The deficits can be seen on one or several language levels and on other developmental areas, which means that people with specific language disorders are a very heterogeneous group. Therefore, identifying, diagnostics, assessing and the therapy planning are very large and individualised procedures. As there are very few formal tests that could represent a frame and support, this task is for the Slovene speech and language pathologists very often even more demanding. The theoretical part of the thesis contains a detailed description of specific language impairments and the list of features in children with specific language impairments that were investigated by foreign and domestic experts. On the basis of literature review of different authors who researched specific language impairments, the protocol for identifying and assessing specific language impairments was formed for the purposes of this thesis. The protocol includes the main criteria after which we specify specific language impairments. The characteristics that can be found in children with specific language impairments are divided based on language areas. Therefore, the protocol includes next areas: phonology, morphosyntax, semantics, sociopragmatics, comprehension, narrating or free speech, other characteristics and observation of the parents and professional workers. Appendix to the protocol offers a series of tasks that check the above-mentioned areas. The speech and language pathologist’s assessment is supplemented with questionnaires for parents and teachers in preschool and other professional staff. In the empirical part the protocol was made true on a concrete case of a six-year-old preschool child who was oriented into adjusted program and additional professional help as being a boy with moderate speech and language disorders. It was found out that the boy shows most of the signs of specific language impairments that are described in academic literature. A plan of his further treatment was made on the basis of proven weak areas. This work represents a novelty in Slovene speech and language pathology. It defines specific language impairments and spreads the knowledge of them, it makes people aware of the importance of an early identification of specific language impairments and encourages to an in-depth and individualised assessing of language disorders in children.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: preeschool children, language impairments, specific language impairment, identification and assessment, protocol
    Number of Pages: 111
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Damjana KogovšekMentor
    asist. dr. Jerneja Novšak BrceComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12611913
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 6009
    Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2019 10:58
    Last Modified: 30 Sep 2019 10:58
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/6009

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