Mary Scott

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Special Education

First Advisor

Jennifer Desiderio

Second Advisor

Carole Gorenflo

Third Advisor

Janet L. Fisher


Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are ethically responsible for providing the best possible therapy to their clients. As the number of non-English-speaking homes is increasing in the United States, so is the need for SLPs with a thorough understanding of how to appropriately service multilingual clients,. This project is intended as a primer for speech-language pathologists facing the complexity of servicing linguistically--and culturally-diverse populations. It includes an in-depth analysis of language development in bilingual children compared to monolingual children, types of assessments used to differentiate between a language difference and a language disorder, and cultural factors that should be considered when providing speech language services. All of these aspects are crucial in determining whether a bilingual student has a communication disorder, delay, or simply a difference, as well as providing speech-language services in an appropriate, culturally considerate, and ethical manner.