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Course Type: Video – 1 1/2 hours

ASHA Course Code: Developmental Language Disorders – 3010

We have all had students and clients who also receive services to address difficulties reading. And it is no surprise that long term positive outcomes for children with language impairment are highly contingent on literacy achievement. With language abilities and literacy rates overlapping to such a great degree, how do we make sure that our therapy and goal writing also mesh with the reading goals of the classroom?

Join Dr. Melanie Schuele of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine as she provides multiple direct and indirect strategies and methods for SLPs to take an active role in advocating for literacy achievement for the children on their caseloads.

Level, Authors, and Disclosures

C. Melanie Schuele is a professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine with secondary appointments in Special Education and Psychology and Human Development in Peabody College at Vanderbilt. She directs the Child Language and Literacy Lab. Melanie’s research focuses on improving outcomes for children with language impairments particularly in school settings. Her work in complex syntax seeks to identify and remediate the challenges that children with language impairments have with the acquisition and use of complex syntax. Her work in early literacy seeks to validate assessments and interventions that assure children have the foundation of phonological awareness necessary for word reading and word spelling success. As a project director on multiple OSEP Leadership Training grants, she and her PhD students host a state-wide conference for school speech-language pathologists, now in its 12th year. 

Financial Disclosure: Dr. Schuele is receiving an honorarium for this presentation. She also receives royalties for the Intensive Phonological Awareness Program and grant support from Dollar General Foundation, NIH, ED.

Non-Financial: The authors do not have any nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Read More

Based on models of reading and writing, oral language is a critical component of literacy achievement. Thus, if SLPs were only to work on oral language, their work would have an influence on literacy outcomes. However, because oral and written language proficiency is intricately intertwined and children with oral language impairments frequently have reading and writing deficits, SLPs can adopt a broader perspective to have a far greater impact on a child’s literacy achievement. The need to attend to a child’s literacy achievement becomes all the more critical when one considers a primary source of continued language learning beyond first grade: READING!  A child with language impairment who does not read proficiently has less opportunity to expand his/her language skills because beyond first grade because so much language learning is wrapped up in what and how much a child reads.


In this session we briefly examine Scarborough’s model of reading to identify the many aspects of this model that an SLP might impact. We argue that learning to read on the same timeline as peers must become the primary language/literacy goal for children with language impairment. Several avenues to assure that all children learn to read are discussed: (a) SLP as collaborator with other educators, (b) SLP as advocate, (c) necessary and sufficient phonological awareness assessment, (d) integrating reading intervention with speech/language intervention, (e) promoting comprehension monitoring to improve reading accuracy, and (f) integrating linguistic information to decode multisyllabic words.

Participants will be able to:
• Identify multiple methods for improving the literacy outcome of children with language impairments.
• List 2 important elements to include in IEPs to set high expectations for children’s reading achievement.
• List 2 ways that language intervention and literacy intervention can be intertwined to impact both language and literacy skills.

Time-Ordered Agenda
5 min Introduction
10 min SLPs’ impact on literacy learning: How SLPs fit into Scarborough’s model of reading
10 min Once you’re behind, you’re always behind: Making sure children read on time
10 min SLPs collaborating with other educators and advocating for high expectations in literacy
10 min Necessary and sufficient phonological awareness assessment,
10 min Integrating reading intervention with speech/language intervention
10 min Promoting comprehension monitoring to improve reading accuracy
10 min Integrating linguistic information to decode multisyllabic words
15 Moderated Question and Answer Session


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