Mary Scott

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis


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.