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Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics:
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31827ba22a
Original Article

Early Speech-Language Impairment and Risk for Written Language Disorder: A Population-Based Study

Stoeckel, Ruth E. PhD*; Colligan, Robert C. PhD; Barbaresi, William J. MD; Weaver, Amy L. MS§; Killian, Jill M. BS§; Katusic, Slavica K. MD

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Abstract

Objective: To compare risk of written language disorder (WLD) in children with and without speech-language impairment (S/LI) from a population-based cohort.

Methods: Subjects included all children born between 1976 and 1982 in Rochester, Minnesota, who remained in the community after age 5 years (n = 5718). Records from public and private schools, medical agencies, and tutoring services were abstracted. S/LI was determined based on eligibility criteria for an individualized education plan. Incident cases of WLD were identified by research criteria using regression-based discrepancy, non–regression-based discrepancy, and low-achievement formulas applied to cognitive and academic achievement tests. Incidence of WLD (with or without reading disorder [RD]) was compared between children with and without S/LI. Associations were summarized using hazard ratios.

Results: Cumulative incidence of WLD by age 19 years was significantly higher in children with S/LI than in children without S/LI. The magnitude of association between S/LI and WLD with RD was significantly higher for girls than for boys. This was not true for the association between S/LI and WLD without RD.

Conclusions: Risk for WLD is significantly increased among children with S/LI compared with children without S/LI based on this population-based cohort. Early identification and intervention for children at risk for WLD could potentially influence academic outcomes.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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