My research and clinical attention are on two clinical groups of individuals with developmental language disorders (DLD). These two clinical groups are particularly vulnerable to a missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis* of (DLD): children with specific language impairment (i.e., developmental language disorder in the absence of nonverbal cognitive impairment) and children exposed to poverty, trauma, or child maltreatment. Despite speech-language pathologists' language expertise and a high epidemiological prevalence, most children with SLI are overlooked for services. Compounding the issue, exposure to poverty, trauma, and child maltreatment further obscuring the already hidden disorder of SLI. I address this complex issue with three contributing streams of research. (1) I focus on the need for and development of direct grammar assessments that measure the underlying linguistic constructs for an accurate diagnosis (e.g., complex syntax). (2) I address limitations within SLPs’ clinical competencies, diagnostic practice patterns, and workplace realities that interfere with implementing accurate language assessments. (3) I investigate how exposure to adversity impacts language development over time and an SLP’s ability to accurately diagnose a developmental language disorder.
*Phrase originated by colleagues Redmond, Ash, & Hogan, 2015
Selin, C.M., Balthazar, C.H., & Scott, C.M. (2019) Sentence-combining: An Evidence-Based Method for Descriptive Assessment & Progress Monitoring of Complex Sentences. One-Hour Seminar. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention. Orlando, FL.
Selin, C. M., Rice, M. L., Girolamo, T., & Wang, C. J. (2019). Speech-Language Pathologists' Clinical Decision Making for Children With Specific Language Impairment. Language, speech, and hearing services in schools, 50(2), 283-307.