A System for the Diagnosis of Specific Language Impairment in Kindergarten Children A valid and reliable diagnostic standard for language impairment is required for the conduct of epidemiologic research on specific language disorder. A rationale is provided for such a diagnostic system labeled the EpiSLI system. This system employed five composite scores representing norm-referenced performance in three domains of language (vocabulary, grammar, ... Research Article
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Research Article  |   December 01, 1996
A System for the Diagnosis of Specific Language Impairment in Kindergarten Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. Bruce Tomblin
    The University of Iowa Iowa City
  • Nancy L. Records
    The University of Iowa Iowa City
  • Xuyang Zhang
    The University of Iowa Iowa City
  • Contact author: J. Bruce Tomblin, PhD, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242. Email: J-TOMBLIN@UIOWA.EDU
  • Currently affiliated with Pennsylvania State University, University Park
    Currently affiliated with Pennsylvania State University, University Park×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1996
A System for the Diagnosis of Specific Language Impairment in Kindergarten Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1996, Vol. 39, 1284-1294. doi:10.1044/jshr.3906.1284
History: Received October 17, 1995 , Accepted June 8, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1996, Vol. 39, 1284-1294. doi:10.1044/jshr.3906.1284
History: Received October 17, 1995; Accepted June 8, 1996

A valid and reliable diagnostic standard for language impairment is required for the conduct of epidemiologic research on specific language disorder. A rationale is provided for such a diagnostic system labeled the EpiSLI system. This system employed five composite scores representing norm-referenced performance in three domains of language (vocabulary, grammar, and narration) and two modalities (comprehension and production). Children who have two or more composite scores below –1.25 standard deviations were considered as children with language disorder. The performance of the EpiSLI diagnostic system was examined on a sample of 1,502 kindergarten children and it was shown that this diagnostic system yielded results that were consistent with clinician rating and previous research results.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by contract NIH-DC-19-90 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The conduct of this study was aided considerably by a valuable research team comprising the following: Chris Anderson, Paula Buckwalter, Connie Ferguson, Joni Mack, Chris McLaughlin, Marlea O’Brien, Vickie Vandike, and Cathy Wignall.
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