McLeod, S., Crowe, K., Masso, S., Baker, E., McCormack, J., Wren, Y., Roulstone, S., & Howland, C. (2017, in press). Profile of Australian preschoolers with speech sound disorders at risk for literacy difficulties. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties.
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Here is the abstract
Background: Speech sound disorders are a common communication difficulty in preschool children. Teachers indicate difficulty identifying and supporting these children.
Aim: To describe speech and language characteristics of children identified by their parents and/or teachers as having possible communication concerns.
Method: 275 Australian 4- to 5-year-old children from 45 preschools whose parents and teachers were concerned about their talking participated in speech-language pathology assessments to examine speech, language, literacy, non-verbal intelligence, oromotor skills and hearing.
Results: The majority (71.3%) of children demonstrated lower consonant accuracy than expected for their age, 63.9% did not pass the language-screening task, 65.5% had not been assessed and 72.4% had not received intervention from a speech-language pathologist. The 132 children who were identified with speech sound disorder (phonological impairment) were more likely to be male (62.9%) who were unintelligible to unfamiliar listeners, and had poor emergent literacy and phonological processing skills, despite having typical hearing, oral structures, and intelligence.
Conclusion: Children identified by parents and teachers with concerns may have a range of speech, language and communication needs requiring professional support.