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Purpose The goal of this study was to determine whether adolescent outcomes for individuals with histories of early speech sound disorders (SSD) could be differentiated by speech and language skills at earlier ages (preschool, 4-6 years, and school age, 7-10 years). Method The study used a retrospective longitudinal design. Participants with and without histories of early SSD were classified in adolescence as having no SSD, resolved SSD, low multisyllabic word (MSW; difficulty with MSW repetition but no errors in conversational speech), or persistent speech disorders (errors in both conversational speech and MSW repetition). Analysis of variance was employed to determine whether early speech, language, and literacy skills distinguished these adolescent outcome groups. Results Preschool and school-age skills differed for adolescents whose SSD had resolved from those who had persistent speech errors. Adolescents with errors solely in production of MSWs (Low MSW) did not differ in early speech and language skills from adolescents who had difficulty with both MSWs and persistent errors in conversation. Conclusions Speech and language assessments earlier in childhood can help establish risks for persistent SSD and other language and literacy difficulties in adolescence. Early identification of these clinically relevant subgroups of SSD may allow for early targeted interventions. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.9932279.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: American journal of speech-language pathology
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