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This article provides an overview of five papers appearing together on the topic of “Advances in Specific Language Impairment Research and Intervention,” which was the 2019 program in an ongoing series of research symposia presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


The article provides a historical context for the set of papers, then a short summation of each paper’s content, followed by the identification of overarching themes and working conclusions.


Each paper provides summations of empirical results, and some papers provide new empirical evidence.


The papers collectively highlight six points: (a) Children with specific language impairment (SLI) are likely to be unidentified among their age peers. (b) There is great need for better identification of children with SLI across developmental levels. (c) Progress is evident toward a better understanding of causal pathways, as examined across different research designs involving comparison of children with typical language acquisition to children with SLI and other possibly co-occurring atypical conditions. (d) Measuring multiple dimensions of language brings enhanced informativeness, with differing outcomes for differing dimensions. (e) Replicated research findings require precision of methods in order to reduce unexplained error variance especially when defining groups. (f) Accurate identification of children with SLI is the first step toward a sound treatment plan for SLI and reading disorders as well.