Monday, 29 August 2011

How do we know if it's SLI?

It is often very difficult to make a positive assessment of Specific Language Impairment which has meant that many children have not had the specialist help or additional educational provision they need. I know many Speech and language therapists who would be unwilling to commit to the diagnosis. However, there is a new test developed by Harvard which identifies this more specifically. It has been trialled and the results published in the American online scientific journal Plos One. 

Professor Heather Van De Lely of Harvard University explains why her "gaps" test was found to be 98% effective in identifying specific language impairment. Click here for the link to the podcast 

This is a serious problem as although the percenatge of children thought to have thge condition is small, it equates to thousands of children across britain. 

One of my bugbears is that children are labelled with other conditions, esepecially ASD. I have 2 on my current caseload who I know have SLI, but who have been given the ASD label. For now, we are keepinhg quiet, as there is help for children with ASD but none for children with SLI. If education could be convinced of the validity of an assessment leading to diagnosis, they would have to look into provision. I'm looking forwards to finding out more as they widen the trial.

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