Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Purpose: This article focuses on using currently available data to assist speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in making decisions regarding a child's eligibility and considerations for recommended "dosage" of early intervention (El) services. Method: Literature describing the characteristics of infants and toddlers who are likely recipients of El services was reviewed. Results: Current literature provides information that can be used to inform clinical decisions for infants and toddlers with established medical conditions, as well as those with risk factors, for oral language, communication, and subsequent literacy disabilities. This information is summarized. Conclusion: Extant literature suggests that El makes a critical difference in the developmental course of communication as well as in other learning domains for children with a variety of established conditions. The literature also provides guidance to SLPs who must evaluate and weigh risk factors for children with less clear eligibility for services.


This research was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Grant P01-HD03008; National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) MidCareer Development Award K24 HD045576; and National Institute of Mental Health Autism Center of Excellence Grant P50 MH81756.

At the time of publication Rhea Paul was affiliated with Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT.




Language, Speech, & Hearing Services in Schools









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