First Advisor

Mary Gordon-Brannon

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences


Speech Communication




Speech disorders in children -- Diagnosis, Language disorders in children -- Diagnosis, Learning disabilities -- Diagnosis, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder -- Diagnosis



Physical Description

1 online resource (70 p.)


The purpose of this study was to determine if an association exists among the diagnosis of speech-language impairments (SLI) and the diagnoses of learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a school-aged population of children referred to a Learning Disorders Clinic (LDC) because of academic underachievement and/or behavior problems. The two research questions asked in this study are: (a) What percentage of students diagnosed with SLI have a concomitant diagnosis of LD and/or ADHD? and (b) Is there an association among the diagnosis of SLI and the diagnoses of LD and/or ADHD?

A sample of 94 subjects was obtained from review of 291 LDC records of children ref erred and diagnosed during the years 1989-1992. The subjects were grouped into eight categories by diagnosis, that is, (a) SLI, (b) SLI/LD, (c) SLI/ADHO, (d) SLI/LO/ADHD, (e) no diagnosis of SLI/LO/AOHD, (f) LO, (g) ADHD, and (h) LD/ADHD. The obtained Chi square value was not statistically significant at a .OS alpha level. Thus, the null hypothesis: there will be no association among the diagnosis of SLI and the diagnoses of LO and/or ADHD, could not be rejected. In this sample, however, 85% of the children diagnosed with SLI had a concomitant diagnosis of LD and/or ADHD, and 70% with no SLI diagnosis were diagnosed with LD and/or ADHD.

The overlapping nature of the disorders of SLI, LD, and ADHD is noted. The definitions of SLI and LO demonstrate how enmeshed language and learning problems are. One inference from this study is that as children grow older, their language deficits are recognized in the context of a learning disorder.


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