Using Finiteness as a Clinical Marker to Identify Language Impairment Intervention rates for children with language impairments vary widely across reports. Unfortunately, many language tests focus on areas of language that are not problematic for children with language impairments (LI). Over twenty years of research supports limitations in finiteness as a clinical marker of LI. However, speech language pathologists (SLPs) ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2014
Using Finiteness as a Clinical Marker to Identify Language Impairment
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrea C. Ash
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Sean M. Redmond
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Financial Disclosure: Andrea C. Ash is a research assistant professor at the University of Utah. Sean M. Redmond is a professor at the University of Utah.
    Financial Disclosure: Andrea C. Ash is a research assistant professor at the University of Utah. Sean M. Redmond is a professor at the University of Utah.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Andrea C. Ash has previously published in the subject area. Sean M. Redmond has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Andrea C. Ash has previously published in the subject area. Sean M. Redmond has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2014
Using Finiteness as a Clinical Marker to Identify Language Impairment
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, November 2014, Vol. 21, 148-158. doi:10.1044/lle21.4.148
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, November 2014, Vol. 21, 148-158. doi:10.1044/lle21.4.148

Intervention rates for children with language impairments vary widely across reports. Unfortunately, many language tests focus on areas of language that are not problematic for children with language impairments (LI). Over twenty years of research supports limitations in finiteness as a clinical marker of LI. However, speech language pathologists (SLPs) have been reluctant to include assessments of finiteness in clinical decisions for young school-age children. This article addresses the operational definition of finiteness which may have created a barrier to its clinical use. We recommend that SLPs include the Test of Early Grammatical Impairment as a primary measure of finiteness for identifying language impairment in children between 3 and 8 years of age because of its clinical flexibility and high levels of sensitivity and specificity.

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