Students in allied health professional (AHP) programs are instructed in evidenced-based evaluation practices and participate in interprofessional education and practice in order to identify disorders (e.g., speech, language, gross motor, fine motor) and provide effective treatment. The purpose of this paper is to present a small-scale research study of one graduate student in an AHP program that trains speech-language pathologists.


A graduate student used retrospective methodology to examine the language skills of nine children with speech sound disorders (SSD) to determine if language impairment (LI) co-existed. The student learned and used a method of language sample analysis known as Sampling Utterances and Grammatical Analysis Revised method ([SUGAR], Pavelko and Owens, 2017) to examine the language skills of children with SSD.


Results of this examination revealed that 6 of the 9 children with SSD exhibited deficits in language skills. This finding supports previous research into the co-occurrence of SSD and LI (Hayiou-Thomas et al., 2017).


Identification of LI is the important first step toward provision of language supports and interventions as part of a multidisciplinary educational team. Training students in AHP programs in diagnostic procedures can facilitate the student’s ability to 1) accurately diagnose speech and/or language impairments, and 2) collaborate with other members of the assessment team to develop an appropriate intervention plan. Instructors in speech-language pathology (SLP) graduate programs can consider teaching alternative methods of LSA such as SUGAR, and other AHP programs may consider searching for valid, reliable, efficient alternative methods in which to train students.



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