Stability of Language and Literacy Profiles of Children With Language Impairment in the Public Schools.J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2015 Aug 01; 58(4):1167-81.JS
The present study focused on the identification and stability of language and literacy profiles of primary school children receiving school-based language therapy over the course of one academic year.
Participants included 272 early elementary school-age children (144 boys, 128 girls) who had been clinically identified as having a language impairment. A latent profile analysis was used to identify distinct profiles on the basis of a battery of language and literacy assessments in the fall and spring of the academic year.
Four profiles were identified in both fall and spring that could be best described as representing high, average, and low overall abilities. Two average groups were identified that differentiated according to phonological awareness abilities. Children's profile membership was variable from fall to spring with nearly 60% of children shifting into a higher profile. The results of t tests comparing children who shifted into higher profiles from those who remained stable in profile membership revealed group differences regarding language severity, socio-economic status, and proportion of therapy sessions received in the classroom.
These results provide further evidence regarding the heterogeneity of children with language impairment served in the public schools, indicating that differences may be best conceptualized along a continuum of severity.