Empirically Based Profiles of the Early Literacy Skills of Children With Language Impairment in Early Childhood Special Education

The purpose of this study was to empirically determine whether specific profiles characterize preschool-aged children with language impairment (LI) with respect to their early literacy skills (print awareness, name-writing ability, phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge); the primary interest was to determine if one or more profiles suggested vulnerability for future reading problems. Participants were 218 children enrolled in early childhood special education classrooms, 95% of whom received speech-language services. Children were administered an assessment of early literacy skills in the fall of the academic year. Based on results of latent profile analysis, four distinct literacy profiles were identified, with the single largest profile (55% of children) representing children with generally poor literacy skills across all areas examined. Children in the two low-risk categories had higher oral language skills than those in the high-risk and moderate-risk profiles. Across three of the four early literacy measures, children with language as their primary disability had higher scores than those with LI concomitant with other disabilities. These findings indicate that there are specific profiles of early literacy skills among children with LI, with about one half of children exhibiting a profile indicating potential susceptibility for future reading problems.

Justice, Laura, Logan, Jessica, Kaderavek, Joan, Schmitt, Mary Beth, Thompkins, Virginia, and Bartlett, Christopher. Empirically Based Profiles of the Early Literacy Skills of Children With Language Impairment in Early Childhood Special Education. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48, 482-494.

About rickyWburk

Ricky W. Burk, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, is a speech-language pathologist who provides in-home therapy for adolescents and adults residing in Tennessee and Mississippi who stutter. His career includes PreK, elementary, middle, and high school practice, undergraduate & graduate faculty appointments, skilled nursing, national & international consultation, private practice, and national & international speaking presentations. He holds the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence, and he is a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders. He is the ASHA Continuing Education Administrator for the National Association for Speech Fluency.
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