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EBP Compendium: Summary of Clinical Practice Guideline

Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists; Department of Health (UK); National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)
RCSLT Clinical Guidelines: 5.2 Preschool Children with Communication, Language & Speech Needs

Taylor-Goh, S., ed. (2005).
RCSLT Clinical Guidelines. Bicester, Speechmark Publishing Ltd.

AGREE Rating: Highly Recommended


This evidence-based guideline addresses the assessment and management of pre-school children with communication, language and speech needs. The target audience of the guideline is speech-language pathologists. 


  • Speech and Language Screening/Assessment
    • Evaluation of communication, speech, and language should include the assessment of the whole child, including any modes of communication, interaction with various others, communication across environments, opportunities for communication, and impact of other conditions or disorders.
    • Specific skills which should be assessed include intentionality of interaction and joint attention, distractibility and ability to focus, center of play- object-centered or people-centered, comprehension, expression, oromotor structure and function, and phonology.
    • Differential diagnosis and evenness of development should also be considered during evaluation.
  • Speech and Language Treatment

Management of communication, speech, and language impairments should occur at four levels:

    1. Prevention: By means of parent training and advice to referral agencies and production and dissemination of information
    2. Maximization of communication environments to increase participation and activity: By means training parents to limit distracters, increase attention, use of appropriate toys and activities, and develop sound awareness and discrimination.
    3. Reduce the impact of impairment by utilizing augmentative and alternative communication
    4. Improve level of function by fostering age-appropriate communication skills, language comprehension and use, and phonology.

Keywords: Language Disorders; Speech Disorders

Access the Guideline

Added to Compendium: November 2010

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