The Changing View of Input in the Treatment of Children With Grammatical Deficits

Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2017 Aug 15;26(3):1030-1041. doi: 10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0095.


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to present 3 approaches that emphasize the role that input plays in the treatment of grammatical deficits in children with language impairments.

Method: These approaches-input informativeness, competing sources of input, and high variability-were selected because they go beyond issues of token frequency and emphasize instead type frequency, relative frequency, and frequency at an abstract as well as a concrete level of grammar. Each of these approaches can be applied to the grammatical deficits seen in children with specific language impairment and can be readily used with well-established procedures, such as focused stimulation and recasting.

Results: Each approach is supported by a body of laboratory research with children with typical language skills, and the feasibility of each has been tested in studies with a treatment design. Furthermore, the assumptions of the 3 approaches are largely compatible, permitting application of combinations of these approaches without violating any of their principles.

Conclusion: The positive findings from each of these approaches should serve as a basis for further clinical research.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child Language*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior
  • Language Disorders / diagnosis
  • Language Disorders / etiology
  • Language Disorders / psychology
  • Language Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Language Therapy / methods*
  • Play and Playthings
  • Risk Factors
  • Speech-Language Pathology / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verbal Learning
  • Vocabulary