10. New School Phonology: The LD Problem

We argue here genetic learning disability derives to a large extent from phonological disability occurring prosodically across levels of grammatical processing.  Preschool children with functional “multiple artic problems” are learning disabled but the most dramatic symptom is speech.  These are the “wait to fail” children widely discussed in education.  From a prior post we ask:

“But where are the LD children waiting? Here is the answer: They are buried in the SLP caseload in the speech and language impairment (SLI) category. A significant portion of SLI pupils morph into LD children. The underlying pathology for the two categories is the same, a genetically-based cognitive-linguistic processing disorder (Speech genes).”

Without viewing “artic problems” as phonological / language processing problems, LD children are misevaluated and sometimes misplaced in special education.  And the role of the school speech therapist is utterly confounded.  SLPs need to track processing symptoms across the age span so that “artic kids” become language and literacy kids as they move beyond the second grade.

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