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Unsuspected language impairments

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Slides to accompany RALLI video on Unsuspected language impairments, see: …

Slides to accompany RALLI video on Unsuspected language impairments, see:
https://www.youtube.com/RALLIcampaign/


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  • 1. 1 Unsuspected language impairments Dorothy V. M. Bishop
  • 2. Studies of child psychiatry outpatients  288 child psychiatry outpatients, 4-12 yr  Given routine screening with language tests  111 had previously identified language impairment  99 had unsuspected language impairment – nearly always involving receptive language  Many with ADHD, externalising problems Cohen NJ et al. 1993. Unsuspected language impairment in psychiatrically disturbed children: prevalence and language and behavioral characteristics. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 32:595-
  • 3. Language problems are not always obvious • Language difficulties may underlie problem behaviour such as: • Bad behaviour in class/failure to obey instructions • Inattention • Anxiety in social situations • Problems with peer group • Academic problems (esp. poor reading/writing) • Failure to use inner speech to self-regulate behaviour Cohen, N. J. (1996). Unsuspected language impairments in psychiatrically disturbed children: developmental issues and associated conditions. In J. H. Beitchman, et al (Eds.), Language, Learning, and Behavior Disorders (pp. 105-127). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 4. Things that get missed  Poor receptive language  Weak vocabulary  Over-literal interpretation  Difficulties with talking about the future
  • 5. “Don’t you think you owe it to your mum to take responsibility for your behaviour?” Professionals often use language that is too complex!
  • 6. • Abstract words: “responsibility” • Complex syntax – multiple levels of embedding! “Don’t you think [you owe it to your mum [to take responsibility for your behaviour?]]” • Figurative language: “owe” • Talk about future/hypothetical situations Sources of comprehension difficulty
  • 7. Better….. “How did your mum feel when you broke your toys?”
  • 8. • Concrete vocabulary • Stay in the here and now • Simple sentences • Questions should be open-ended, not yes/no • Don’t rush! Speak slowly and give time for reply • May need visual support • Comprehension check – can child tell you (or a toy) what you’ve agreed? General rules for communication
  • 9. • Language and reading problems often run in families • Some parents may have problems in comprehending complex language • Some may have literacy problems • General message – Key skill for professionals is to communicate effectively without being patronising Professionals may also talk over the heads of parents!
  • 10. Blog post by Pamela Snow Also need to consider verbal skills of offenders in youth justice system http://bit.ly/1kSF88H
  • 11. For further reading see reference list on: http:// www.slideshare.net/RALLICampaign/uli-33854570 For videos see: https://www.youtube.com/RALLIcampaign/