The speech, language, and hearing sciences are currently on the rise. These professionals–speech-language pathologists–focus on finding underlying communication impairments within individuals and then develop techniques for their assessments and treatments. They can assist anyone from small children with a fluency disorder such as a stutter to an adult who has recently experienced a stroke and is now suffering from dysarthria–slurred speech associated with an injury or muscle weakness. However, with this said, there is currently an issue with individuals, children primarily, getting an early language disorder diagnosis. In other words, several children with a language disorder are going unnoticed. An early diagnosis is vital because it can prevent children from falling behind their peers in school, and it increases the possibility that their language skills improve over time. Currently, there are assumptions that parents, primarily mothers, are key to an early diagnosis for their children. Thus, the main question of this project is: Is there a correlation between maternal determinants–awareness and access to resources–and the early diagnosis of language disorders? To answer this question, a literature review was conducted. Recent studies looking at children with language disorders and relating them to their mothers’ backgrounds were analyzed. Significant findings from these studies were noted and compared in an essay. It was found that children with language disorders are not being appropriately diagnosed due to a number of factors. The most significant factors were parents not being knowledgeable about the field of speech-language pathology and there not being optimal methods to guarantee an early diagnosis as of yet. It was also found that demographics played a role as well. Ultimately, there is much room for future research due to the lack of data on some language disorders and optimal methods for early diagnosis.

Class Standing



Clinical Sciences, School of

Faculty Advisor

Heather Isaacson

Faculty Advisor Email