Recent research indicates that children with language impairment (LI) often experience difficulties with social communication. Although the empirical basis for general social communication intervention is growing, information documenting the efficacy of these interventions for children with LI remains limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a social communication intervention on teacher perceptions of sociability in five elementary-aged children with LI. The intervention focused on the presentation and use of children's stories to target aspects of emotion understanding. The two sociability subscales of the Teacher Behavior Rating Scale (TBRS), impulse control/likeability and prosocial behavior, were used as variables with which to measure teacher perception. Pre and post intervention measures of teacher ratings were taken and compared for each participant. Results indicated that four of the five participants received higher ratings for prosocial behaviors following treatment, with two participants scoring within typical range for their age. Two participants remained stable in their pre and posttreatment scores for impulse control/likeability, one participant increased in their ratings, and two of the participants had a decline in posttreatment scores for impulse control/likeability. This study revealed noteworthy improvements in prosocial behaviors in children with LI, even while problems with impulse control remained or increased. This was to be expected considering the intervention focused on emotion understanding which leads to prosocial behavior, whereas the intervention did not focus explicitly on impulse control. Implications of these results were discussed and suggestions for further research were offered.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





language impairment, social communication, emotion understanding, sociability, intervention, school-age children