Who to refer for speech therapy at 4 years of age versus who to "Watch and Wait"?

Journal article


Morgan, Angela, Ttofari Eecen, K., Pezic, Angela, Brommeyer, Katherine, Mei, Cristina, Eadie, Patricia, Reilly, Sheena and Dodd, Barbara. (2017). Who to refer for speech therapy at 4 years of age versus who to "Watch and Wait"? Journal of Pediatrics. 185, pp. 200 - 204. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.02.059
AuthorsMorgan, Angela, Ttofari Eecen, K., Pezic, Angela, Brommeyer, Katherine, Mei, Cristina, Eadie, Patricia, Reilly, Sheena and Dodd, Barbara
Abstract

Objective: To examine predictors of speech disorder resolution versus persistence at age 7 years in children with speech errors at age 4 years. Study design: Participants were drawn from a longitudinal, community cohort. Assessment at age 4 years (N = 1494) identified children with speech errors. Reassessment at age 7 years allowed categorization into resolved or persistent categories. Logistic regression examined predictors of speech outcome, including family history, sex, socioeconomic status, nonverbal intelligence, and speech error type (delay vs disorder). Results: At age 7 years, persistent errors were seen in over 40% of children who had errors at age 4 years. Speech symptomatology was the only significant predictor of outcome (P = .02). Children with disordered errors at age 4 years were twice as likely to have poor speech outcomes at age 7 years compared with those with delayed errors. Conclusions: Children with speech delay at age 4 years seem more likely to resolve, and this might justify a “watch and wait” approach. In contrast, those with speech disorder at age 4 years appear to be at greater risk for persistent difficulties, and could be prioritized for therapy to offset long-term impacts.

Keywordsspeech therapy; speech disorder; resolve; recover; articulation
Year2017
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Journal citation185, pp. 200 - 204
PublisherElsevier - Mosby
ISSN0022-3476
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.02.059
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85016050824
Page range200 - 204
Research GroupSchool of Allied Health
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited States of America
EditorsW. F. Balistreri
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