According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), a language-based learning disability is “difficulties with age-appropriate reading, spelling, and/or writing. This disorder is not about how smart a person is.” Most people diagnosed with learning disabilities have average to superior intelligence.
This is very important information for pediatric Speech Language Pathologists. Often we are the professionals that come in contact with these children first. These can be children we have treated when they were in preschool and dismissed before entering elementary school or children who have speech and language impairments that persist into elementary school. As a whole, SLPs need to educate others on the critical relationship between early language skills and later reading development.
Here is an interesting bit of information.....Specific Language Impairment (SLI) affects around 3%– 10% of children (Tomblin et al., 1997) and is diagnosed when oral language lags behind other areas of development for no apparent reason (L. B. Leonard, 1998). Similar prevalence levels are reported for developmental dyslexia, which is identified if a child has poor literacy skills despite adequate intelligence and opportunity to learn (Snowling, 2000).
So SLPs we need to take a more active role in identifying these children sooner and designing and implementing effective treatment approaches. What do you think?