A retrospective study was undertaken to determine whether the Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST) language sector is a sensitive screen of speech and language development. Seventy-one children between 18 and 66 months of age with suspected developmental problems were referred to screening clinics conducted by a child evaluation team. Each child was screened using the DDST (revised) and another screening measure of speech and language development. Statistically significant differences were found between the DDST language sector and the speech-language screening in identification of expressive language and articulation problems. No significant difference was found with receptive language. The DDST failed to identify more than one half of the children with expressive language and/or articulation problems. These results demonstrate that the DDST may fail to identify children with speech and language impairment. Professionals involved in developmental screening need to be advised of alternative speech and language screening measures.

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