Creating Language Impairments in Typically Achieving Children The Pitfalls of "Normal" Normative Sampling Article
Article  |   January 1996
Creating Language Impairments in Typically Achieving Children
 
Author Notes
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: tumcf@uwyo.edu
  • ¬©American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Language Disorders
Article   |   January 1996
Creating Language Impairments in Typically Achieving Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1996, Vol. 27, 3-9. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2701.03
History: Received June 14, 1994 , Accepted January 25, 1995
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1996, Vol. 27, 3-9. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2701.03
History: Received June 14, 1994; Accepted January 25, 1995

Many popular standardized language tests use a "normal" sample for their normative comparison group. This article describes the errors that result from current uses of such tests; (a) identification of normal children as language impaired, (b) provision of misleading profiles of verbal and nonverbal performance, (c) inability to estimate the severity or describe the general nature of a language impairment, and (d) a gradual increase in the number of children identified as language impaired with progressive test re-normings. Recommendations to alleviate this problem include (a) test users employing only full-range standardized tests; (b) test users using flexible cutoff scores, with the major emphasis on descriptive, criterion-referenced testing, and (c) test makers moving to full-range normative samples with descriptions of what particular test performances indicate in terms of the daily communication functioning of typically achieving children and clinical subgroups of children.

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