Anna Hesson

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Special Education

Committee Member

Bill Cupples

Committee Member

Rhonda Vander Laan Kraai

Committee Member

Pam McClure


This speech-language pathology study explores the communication characteristics exhibited in children with Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS), a recently identified genetic disorder arising from the deletion or mutation of part of the 17th chromosome. This qualitative study examines the speech and language needs exhibited by children with SMS through parent surveys and interviews, as well as current speech language pathology intervention strategies being utilized. It also observes the effectiveness and validity of the Language Use Inventory (LUI) as a reliable measure for identifying speech and language delays, which was analyzed in comparison to the MacArthur Bates Communicative Development Inventory (CDI). Results identified commonalities and differences in both language and communication among participants, as well as establishing the LUI as an accurate protocol for determining the speech and language development of children with SMS. Future research should continue to confirm precise language and communication needs of individuals with SMS that will help with the identification, intervention, and overall awareness.