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Clinical implications of early differential diagnostic between Language Delay (LD) and Specific Language Impairment (SLI) [mplicaciones clínicas del diagnóstico diferencial temprano entre Retraso de Lenguaje (RL) y Trastorno Específico del Lenguaje (TEL)]

Keywords: Language impairment , language delay , assessment and intervention in language

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The aim of this paper is to analyze the differences between Language Delay (LD) and Specific Language Impairment (SLI) concepts from a clinical point of view. The selected sample consisted of 6 LD and 6 SLI individuals, who were chosen with standarized tools and qualitative tasks. LD children had not any treatment, meanwhile SLI children underwent an intervention program which pursued two aims: on one hand, to improve the development of linguistic comprehension and production and on the other hand, to encourage the progress of basic skills for literacy, focusing on narrative development and phonological processing. The contents of the program have been sequenced in increasing order of cognitive complexity. The U of Mann-Whitney was used to check the similarities and differences of the children′ linguistic development according to their diagnosis. Results show important differences between both groups. A positive progress of LD children stand outs, although they didn′t undergo an intervention program. Meanwhile, just the opposite happens with SLI children. These data make us think that there is not an obligatory sequence from LD to SLI children. Therefore, we regard them as different categories.


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