Children with specific language impairment present with deficits that can have a significant impact on academic functioning, and as a consequence, can negatively impact their later vocational opportunities. Early remediation of language deficits offers a means for mitigating these long-term effects, but the available treatments often fall shor in terms of their efficacy and efficiency. Moreover, few efforts to develop treatment methods include experimental manipulation of important variables that could significantly impact the effectiveness of the treatment. This grant proposes to test the relative effects of different means of treatment delivery of a promising treatment method that adapts principles of learning theory to the treatment of grammatical errors. Study 1 will compare massed vs. spaced delivery of the critical elements of the treatment. Study 2 will compare delivery of the same treatment in one-on-one and small group settings. The results of these studies will provide critical information needed to translate this newly-developed treatment from the laboratory to real-life treatment contexts.
Children with specific language impairment represent the largest group of children with language deficits. The proposed studies are designed to improve early intervention for these children through two studies designed to evaluate the effects of different means of delivering a promising new treatment that targets the hallmark deficit of this disorder.