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Jornal da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

versão On-line ISSN 2179-6491


PUGLISI, Marina Leite et al. Is it possible to predict the length of therapy for developmental language impairments?. J. Soc. Bras. Fonoaudiol. [online]. 2012, vol.24, n.1, pp.57-61. ISSN 2179-6491.

PURPOSE: To explore which measures could predict the persistency of developmental language impairment (DLI) based on the association between the initial language assessment and the therapeutic prognosis of the child. METHODS: In this retrospective study, the records of 42 children with diagnosis of DLI were analyzed. Participants' age varied from 21 to 63 months at the first language assessment, which included vocabulary, phonology, pragmatics and fluency tests. The performance of subjects in each test was scored from 0 to 4, based on the severity of the deficits, and the maximum score corresponded to age-adequate performance. As prognostic measure, we accounted the length of therapy (in sessions) of patients who were discharged, were referred to another service (because the deficits had become very mild), or remained in therapy (persistent language difficulties). RESULTS: There was association between initial assessment (normal or mild alterations for vocabulary and pragmatics abilities) and prognosis (<135 therapeutic sessions). Vocabulary was the only variable able to predict the length of therapy. Being classified as severe in this measure caused the estimate of treatment to increase, in average, 112 sessions. CONCLUSION: The first vocabulary assessment can contribute to predict the child's therapeutic prognosis. This finding is clinically and scientifically relevant to Speech-Language Pathology, since it offers an auxiliary resource to the prognosis and therapeutic planning in cases of DLI.

Palavras-chave : Language development disorders; Risk factors; Language tests; Vocabulary; Prognosis.

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