Communication Disorder


Measuring Blindness

  • Vast majority of blind individuals experience and utilise some visual information 
  • Snellen test (20/10) (6/6 vision) 
  • Blind (20/200)
  • What does a blind baby miss? 
    • A child may be diagnosed around 4-5 months 
    • Miss the visual triggers for mutual contact 
    • Parent child interaction 
    • Parent may be unaware of this - reaction 
  • Historically ignored as a communicative problem 
    • Dependance on ear-voice link
    • Naive conclusion
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Vision helps

  • Visual sounds are 1st acquired 
  • Non verbal communication
  • Parent-infant interaction 
  • Absorb simultaneous activities 
  • Incidental learning
  • No vision
    • Blind person must remember what a sighted person can effortlessly reconstruct with a single look 
    • Tactile perception requires direct contact with the object observed 
    • Listening skills are crucial 
    • Improvements with advances in audio description 
  • Blind child's speech 
    • Massive attention task 
    • Hang onto other speech
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  • Phonology 
    • Different babbling 
    • Longer in babbling phase 
    • Visual errors: m to p 
    • Acoustic errors: m to n 
  • Vocabulary 
    • Same pace, same type
    • Less creative - limited range 
    • No made up words 
    • No overgeneralisations 
  • Syntax 
    • No bad - immature grammar 
    • Pronominal confusion 
    • Verbalisms
  • Pragmatics 
    • Good imitators 
    • Rather egocentric 
    • Miss out on turn taking opportunities 
    • Stereotypic speech 
    • Focus on past events 
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Language Environment

  • Input
    • Rather impoverished 
    • Highly directive 
    • More imperatives and yes/no routines 
    • Few descriptions 
    • Parents must be encouraged to maximise opportunities, describe the environment, use nursery rhymes 
  • Literacy opportunities 
    • Braille
      • A configuration of 6 embossed dots - a form of finger reading 
      • 2 vertical lines of 3 dots representing letters and contractions 
    • Type writer/computer 
      • Technology developing all the time 
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Specific Language Impairment

  • Children
    • Diagnosis by exclusion when the child is 3ish 
    • Significant limitation in language ability with no obvious cause 
    • SLI is different from language delay 
    • More boys than girls 
    • No neurological disorder 
    • No emotional disturbance 
    • No hearing loss 
    • Normal intelligence 
    • Genetic basis 
      • Parents and/or siblings often have a history of language problems 
    • Children have a tested language age of no more than 2/3's of tested mental age 
    • Low social status with peers 
    • 7% of five year old children have SLI
    • Treatment helps but deficit doesnt go away easily 
  • Diagnosis 
    • Term used to describe difficulties with language learning that are not associated with other factors such as hearing impairment, autistic spectrum disorder or global development delay
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Characteristics of SLI

  • Child seems to understand what is said but people cant understand the child 
  • Child speaks clearly but often misses the ponit 
  • Child speaks clearly in single words but struggles with sentences
  • Phonological Abilities 
    • Children show delay in phonological abilities though much of the acquisition is in the ssme order and reflects the same phonological processes in operation as non-disabled children
    • Unusual error patterns 
    • While phonology is poor, there isnt evidence of the major deficit in final position as is seen in the speech of children with phonological impairment 
  • Lexical Abilities 
    • Mild deficit in comprehension, still outpaces production 
    • Late acquisition of first words, content of early words match non SLI children 
    • Same fast mapping ability with nonsense words; often cant pronounce them 
    • Dont make noun verb shift so readily 
    • Acquisition of verbs is much more problematic than with nouns, tend to overuse general purpose verbs
    • Their vocabulary is deficit, lacking variety and less versatile
    • Word finding difficulties which may be the result of retrieval problems 
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Characteristics of SLI 2

  • Grammatical Abilities
    • SLI children display a marked delay in the onset and acquisition of grammar 
    • Weak in use of grammatical morphology 
    • Impairment of one particular language faculty = language errors 
    • Selective impairment of that component of the grammar that encodes abstract morphology 
  • Omission of verb-related morphology 
    • Pragmatic abilities 
      • SLI children experience across the board weaknesses in the use of speech acts, conversational participation and listener awareness
    • Literacy skills
      • SLI children run the risk of reading/writing disorders when they reach school age 
      • May have problems accessing the curriculum at school
      • Children with SLI have thinking skills and academic potential at least within average range 
    • Input
      • Ten to recieve non optional input 
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Explanations of SLI

  • Surface account
    • SLI children have difficulty with items that lack phonetic substance with coping with real time demands of production processing in conversation
  • Grammatical account
    • SLI children have difficulty with building grammatical representations
    • SLI children remain pre-functional or in the extended optional infinitive stage
    • Problem/inability with the small grammatical words 
  • Support 
    • Speech and language therapist 
    • Educational psychologists 
    • Individual Education Plan - trained support staff
    • Alternative and augmentative communication
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