Pragmatic Language Difficulties in Children with Specific Language Impairment – A Systematic Review
Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is a developmental disorder wherein a child fails to acquire age-appropriate linguistic skills. The study attempted a systematic review of articles pertaining to pragmatics in children with SLI in the last decade. A thorough search of the electronic databases yielded 666 articles, out of which 136 articles were shortlisted. Among these, 14 articles were selected for full length screening based on predetermined criteria. The use of PICOS design for filtering the articles led to the selection of 2 articles. The results of the review revealed a dearth of studies in this area. The two selected articles explored the pragmatic components in the SLI group in depth as against the typically developing peers. The studies highlighted the way in which children with SLI react to pragmatically demanding situations by demonstrating deficits with turn taking, maintaining a topic, unusual content and use of language and difficulties with comprehending context. Also, attempts have been made to illustrate the pragmatic patterns within the SLI group to identify children who exhibited disproportionate deficits in pragmatic language versus those who had no pragmatic difficulties. The comprehensive review draws attention to the need for speech-language pathologists to distinguish pragmatic deficits from generalized linguistic deficits in children with SLI. The study also underlines the importance of identifying subgroups of children with SLI.
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