The verbal and nonverbal behaviors used by 5 children with specific language impairment (SLI) to attempt to gain access into established interactions were described and compared with those of chronological-age-mates and language-similar control subjects. Three of the children with SLI were unsuccessful. Two of the children with SLI achieved access but did so without using linguistic forms like those most normal-language children use. All of the children with normal language accessed, and most did so quickly and easily using an orderly and sequential set of indirect behaviors. The findings contribute to social-linguistic characterizations of SLI and clarify specific aspects of access described in the normal-language literature.
KEY WORDS: access, specific language Impairment, social skills, childhood language disorders
Submitted on May 26, 1992
Accepted on September 23, 1992
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