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Life on a Tricycle: A Case Study of Language Impairment From 4 to 19

Brinton, Bonnie PhD, CCC-SLP; Fujiki, Martin PhD, CCC-SLP; Robinson, Lee A. MS

Part 2: Lessons From Longitudinal Case Studies: Article

This article presents a longitudinal case study of a child named Cody identified with specific language impairment. Cody was followed from 4 to 19 years of age, at which time he compared his social skills with those of peers: “It's like they're driving sports car and I'm on a tricycle.” His initial long- and short-term intervention goals are presented, along with the treatment methods employed and the resulting outcomes. Although long-term goals remained consistent, as the nature of Cody's academic, social, and emotional challenges shifted, it was necessary to gear treatment to address his changing needs. Cody's case illustrates the tenacious, pervasive nature of specific language impairment as well as its potentially devastating effects on a developing child's quality of life.

Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Corresponding author: Bonnie Brinton, PhD, CCC-SLP, Brigham Young University, B-380 ASB, Provo, UT 84602 (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins