What is it about?

West Virginia ranks among the highest incidence rates of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS) in the country. The purpose of this research was to describe clinical presentations for children with a history of opioid exposure from the perspective of speech-language pathologists working in West Virginia schools.

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Why is it important?

Speech-language pathologists across the nation are experiencing a higher rate of this demographic of children on their caseloads in school settings. Early reporting suggests that more research is needed to identify service needs and best practice approaches to supporting children with a history of opioid exposure. Our findings provided an initial description for many common clinical characteristics seen in these children as well as described differentiators and perceived confounding characteristics that may influence outcomes.


Children with a history of opioid exposure may experience a variety of health and/or social concerns that result in more complex needs than those typically encountered in the past. Speech-language pathologists and other professionals with their feet on the ground can help inform the search for guidelines that will allow for high quality care for these children now and in the future.

Kelly Rutherford
Marshall University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Perceived Clinical Characteristics of Children With History of Opioid Exposure: A Speech-Language Pathology Perspective, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, July 2022, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/2022_ajslp-21-00336.
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