Communications Disorders are 'Major" Educational, Health Concern in Utah Children

Communications Disorders are 'Major" Educational, Health Concern in Utah Children

Oct 31, 2007 6:00 PM

Researchers estimate more than 6 percent of children face problems

Communications disorders (CD) strike more than 6 percent of Utah children, constituting a major public educational and health concern, a study by University of Utah psychiatry and Utah Department of Health researchers has found. The researchers, led by Judith Pinborough-Zimmerman, Ph.D., of the U of U Department of Psychiatry, targeted a population of 26,315 8-year-olds in Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah counties and found 63.4 of every 1,000 children (6.3 percent) had some type of communication disorder. The numbers also showed nearly twice as many boys have CD than girls. Intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, and other problems frequently accompany CD, according to the researchers.

The findings indicate a need for trained speech language pathologists to work in schools and clinical settings to help children with communication disorders. In addition, with new research showing the number of autism spectrum disorders is growing and the incidence of ASD is much more prevalent than previously thought, speech language pathologists who specialize in ASD will be especially in need.

The study appears online and in print this week in the American Journal of Speech Language Pathology.

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Contacts:

Judith Pinborough-Zimmerman, Ph.D., U of U Department of Psychiatry

(801) 558-7695

Phil Sahm, University of Utah Public Affairs

(801) 581-7387

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