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Early Word Combinations: Assessment and Therapy Goals

presented by Susan H. Lederer PhD, MA, BS

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Susan Hendler Lederer receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.


 Non-Financial: Susan Hendler Lederer has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Moving children from single words to word combinations is not just a matter of teaching two- and then three-word utterances. For young children with language delays in this period, the role of the SLP is to identify phrase/sentence types (i.e., content/form interactions or semantic relations) the child already produces and set new goals to expand the variety of types. In this course, we will discuss assessment in terms of gathering, categorizing, and analyzing early phrase/sentence data observed and elicited in the natural environment. A case study will illustrate how this process leads to choosing goals. Sample demonstration intervention concludes the course.

Meet Your Instructor

Susan H. Lederer PhD, MA, BS

Susan Hendler Lederer, Ph.D., CCC is a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Adelphi University, Garden City, Long Island, NY. She is a NYS licensed and nationally certified Speech-Language Pathologist with over 35 years of clinical experience including 20 years of academic experience in the areas of early language and literacy…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Development of Early Word Combinations

This chapter will detail milestones for the acquisition of 2-3 word/constituent combinations and discuss children with delays. At the end of this chapter, learners will understand how language develops from single words to phrases to short sentences and understand the nature of the language delay in this period.

2. Assessment: Gathering, Categorizing, Analyzing language sample data

While standardized tests are necessary for qualifying children for therapy, they do not provide sufficient data to plan therapy. In this chapter, we explore how to gather early phrase/sentence data (i.e., natural language sample, elicit, parent provided); categorize utterance data into early content/form interactions using a Bloom & Lahey approach; and conduct a qualitative analysis of what types of words combinations the child is producing, which is necessary to determine goals.

3. Intervention: Choosing goals and beginning therapy

In this chapter, we will discuss choosing content/form goals and specific targets within those categories. This course will conclude with a sample therapy session using a children’s picture book.

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