Children with primary or 'specific' language impairment (PLI) demonstrate subtle deficits in non-linguistic cognitive processing skills that may play a causal or contributing role in PLI. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility that short-term treatment of non-linguistic cognitive processing skills improves language abilities in school-aged children with PLI. Two children with severe PLI participated in a treatment study following a single-subject multiple-baseline design across participants and skill areas. Treatment activities targeted auditory memory and speed of processing for visual information. Results of both repeated dependent measures and pre- and post- standardized language testing indicated that participants made gains in expressive language skills, particularly naming. This preliminary evidence suggests that treatment of non-linguistic cognitive processing skills may facilitate change in some areas of language skill. Treatment of non-linguistic processing skills should be further explored as a complement to more traditional language interventions.
- Non-linguistic processing
- Specific language impairment