Authors: Gerber S, Brice A, Capone N, Fujiki M, Timler G
Title: Language use in social interactions of school-age children with language impairments: An evidence-based systematic review of treatment
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2012 43(2): 235-249
Year: 2012
Research Design: Systematic Review

Introduction: Pragmatic models were first applied to the treatment of children with language impairment in the late 1970s. Since that time, the study of language use has had considerable impact on language assessment and treatment. Despite the need to address pragmatic language skills clinically, there has been no systematic examination of the efficacy of treatments developed for this purpose. Method: In accordance with the evidence-based practice policy agenda, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) convened an ad hoc committee on language use in social interactions in school-age children. The committee’s charge was to develop an evidence-based systematic review of treatment for disorders of language use in social interactions. This charge was conducted in collaboration with ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders. Results: This systematic review provided preliminary support for the feasibility of various treatment procedures addressing social communication behaviors. Gains were reported in topic management skills, narrative production, and repairs of inadequate or ambiguous comments. Conclusion: Because further investigation of these treatments is warranted, the committee is unable to make empirically supported recommendations for changes in standard clinical practice based solely on this review. More research is needed to examine the feasibility of interventions that focus on children’s language use.

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