Report  |   April 2005
Diagnostic Accuracy of the Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test
Author Notes
Language Disorders
Report   |   April 2005
Diagnostic Accuracy of the Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools April 2005, Vol.36, 103-115. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/010)
History: Accepted 14 Jul 2004 , Received 24 Nov 2003 , Revised 01 Mar 2004
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools April 2005, Vol.36, 103-115. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/010)
History: Accepted 14 Jul 2004 , Received 24 Nov 2003 , Revised 01 Mar 2004

Purpose: This study examined the empirical evidence for using the Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test: Third Edition (SPELT-3; Dawson, Stout, & Eyer, 2003) to diagnose language impairment in preschool children. The SPELT-3 is a revision of the SPELT-II (Werner & Kresheck, 1983), which has been proven in the past to have high levels of discriminant accuracy in identifying preschoolers with language impairment.

Method: Forty-two 4- and 5-year-old children with a specific language impairment (SLI) and 43 children with typically developing (TD) language abilities were studied to determine the classification accuracy and other aspects of validity for the SPELT-3.

Results: Results from both an exploratory and a confirmatory sample indicated 90% sensitivity and 100% specificity when a cutoff standard score of 95 was applied to the data. In addition, use of the SPELT-3 was supported by additional data on convergent and divergent aspects of validity.

Implications: The data provide empirical support for the use of the SPELT-3 for the purpose of differentiating between children with normal language and those with impaired language.

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