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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: 5.3 School-aged Children with Speech, Language & Communication Difficulties

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

AGREE Rating: Highly Recommended


This evidence-based guideline pertains to the assessment and management of school-aged children with speech, language, and communication difficulties.  


  • Speech Screening/Assessment
    • If the child presents with phonological processing difficulty, the phonological production and processing and literacy skills should be assessed.
    • If the child has a discrete production problem, the clinician should assess phonological processing and articulation.
  • Speech Treatment
    When treating phonology and/or articulation consider the child's phonological system, phonological processes, intelligibility, phonetic system, phonetic errors, self-monitoring, pre-literacy skills, and literacy skills.
  • Language Screening/Assessment
    • Assessment of communication will consider non-verbal communication, conversation and discourse, the relation of language to context, the social rules of communication, and compensatory strategies the child uses.
    • Assessment of the environment will consider the physical space of the environment and the child, the ratio of staff to children, the sensory distractions, linguistic environment, organization of school-day, and educational placement.
    • Assessment of language should include receptive and expressive communication, grammar, and vocabulary.
  • Language Treatment
    • Consideration should be given to developing communication skills and/or alternative strategies to support learning and socialization within an appropriate and relevant context for the child.
    • The clinician should work collaboratively to adapt the environment to maximize communication and learning.
    • Management of language may involve instruction and therapy in the areas of speech perception, vocabulary, grammar, narrative structure, figurative language, social language, and gestural communication.
    • The clinician may also provide strategies or skills to improve learning and organization of new information or advise on classroom management options or environmental modification.

Keywords: Language Disorders; Speech Disorders

Access the Guideline

Added to Compendium: November 2010

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