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Social Communication in Young Children with Traumatic Brain Injury: Relations with Corpus Callosum Morphometry

The purpose of the present investigation was to characterize the relations of specific social communication behaviors, including joint attention, gestures, and verbalization, with surface area of midsagittal corpus callosum (CC) subregions in children who sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) before 7 years of age. Participants sustained mild (n = 10) or moderate-severe (n = 26) noninflicted TBI. The mean age at injury was 33.6 months; mean age at MRI was 44.4 months. The CC was divided into seven subregions. Relative to young children with mild TBI, those with moderate-severe TBI had smaller surface area of the isthmus. A semi-structured sequence of social interactions between the child and an examiner was videotaped and coded for specific social initiation and response behaviors. Social responses were similar across severity groups. Even though the complexity of their language was similar, children with moderate-severe TBI used more gestures than those with mild TBI to initiate social overtures; this may indicate a developmental lag or deficit as the use of gestural communication typically diminishes after age 2. After controlling for age at scan and for total brain volume, the correlation of social interaction response and initiation scores with the midsagittal surface area of the CC regions was examined. For the total group, responding to a social overture using joint attention was significantly and positively correlated with surface area of all regions, except the rostrum. Initiating joint attention was specifically and negatively correlated with surface area of the anterior midbody. Use of gestures to initiate a social interaction correlated significantly and positively with surface area of the anterior and posterior midbody. Social response and initiation behaviors were selectively related to regional callosal surface areas in young children with TBI. Specific brainbehavior relations indicate early regional specialization of anterior and posterior CC for social communication.

from the International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience

Effects of AAC interventions on communication and language for young children with complex communication needs

Children with complex communication needs (CCN) who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) are at considerable risk in many aspects of their development: (a) functional communication skills, (b) speech development, (c) language development, (d) cognitive/conceptual development, (e) literacy development, (f) social participation, (g) access to education, and (h) overall quality of life. Early intervention is critical to address these areas and provide successful and functional outcomes. AAC offers the potential to enhance communication, language, and learning for children with significant communication disabilities. This paper provides an overview of the effects of AAC interventions on communication, behavior, language, and speech outcomes for young children with CCN for pediatricians and other medical and rehabilitation professionals. Future research directions to maximize the communication development of young children with CCN are also discussed.

<p><p>from the <a href=”Journal” _mce_href=”http://iospress.metapress.com/content/h8l62630x7337655/”><em>Journal”>http://iospress.metapress.com/content/h8l62630x7337655/”><em>Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine</em></a></p>

How New Technology Influences Parent—child Interaction: The Case of e-book Reading

This article reports on a study focusing on mother—child interactions during e-book reading compared to print book reading. Two different types of e-books were used, commercial and educational. Forty-eight kindergarten children and their mothers were assigned randomly to one of four groups, reading: (1) the printed book Just grandma and me; (2) the electronic commercial book Just grandma and me; (3) the printed book The tractor in the sandbox; and (4) the electronic-educational book The tractor in the sandbox. Compared to the printed book reading, e-book reading yielded more discourse initiated by the child and more responsiveness to maternal initiations. Printed book reading yielded more initiations and responses of mothers. Discourse during printed book reading compared to the digital context showed more expanding talk. Educational e-book reading showed more word meaning than reading the commercial e-book. The study concludes that different reading contexts influence adult—child interactions, and this may in return have different effects on children’s early literacy development.

from First Language

Cochlear Implantation in the Very Young Child: Issues Unique to the Under-1 Population

Since the advent of cochlear implantation, candidacy criteria have slowly broadened to include increasingly younger patients. Spurred by evidence demonstrating both perioperative safety and significantly increased speech and language benefit with early auditory intervention, children younger than 12 months of age are now being successfully implanted at many centers. This review highlights the unique challenges involved in cochlear implantation in the very young child, specifically diagnosis and certainty of testing, anesthetic risk, surgical technique, intraoperative testing and postoperative programming, long-term safety, development of receptive and expressive language, and outcomes of speech perception. Overall, the current body of literature indicates that cochlear implantation prior to 1 year of age is both safe and efficacious.

from Trends in Amplification

Behavioural problems in young children with language problems

Compared to their peers in the Dutch population, young children with language problems show more internalizing problems according to their mothers. The fathers also experience differences, but these are not significant. Fathers and mothers agree on the behaviour analysis of their child and there are no differences between the occurrences of internalizing or externalizing problems and between boys and girls. There is also no relation between the behavioural problems and the severity of the language problem or the level of non-verbal functioning.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

Directional Effects on Infants and Young Children in Real Life: Implications for Amplification

Method: Twenty-seven children (11 with normal hearing, 16 with impaired hearing) between 11 and 78 months of age were video recorded in naturalistic settings for analyses of head orientation. Reports on daily activities were obtained from caregivers. The effect of directionality in different environments was quantified by measuring the Speech Transmission Index (STI; H. J. M. Steeneken & T. Houtgast, 1980).

Results: Averaged across 4 scenarios, children looked in the direction of a talker for 40% of the time when speech was present. Head orientation was not affected by age or hearing status. The STI measurements revealed a directional advantage of 3 dB when a child looked at a talker but a deficit of 2.8 dB when the talker was sideways or behind the child. The overall directional effect in real life was between –0.4 and 0.2 dB.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that directional microphones in personal hearing devices for young children are not detrimental and have much potential for benefits in real life. The benefits may be enhanced by fitting directionality early and by counseling caregivers on ways to maximize benefits in everyday situations.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Directional effects on infants and young children in real life: Implications for amplification

Results: Averaged across 4 scenarios, children looked in the direction of a talker for 40% of the time when speech was present. Head orientation was not affected by age or hearing status. The STI measurements revealed a directional advantage of 3 dB when a child looked at a talker, but a deficit of 2.8 dB when the talker was sideways or behind the child. The overall directional effect in real life was between –0.4 and 0.2 dB.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that directional microphones in personal hearing devices for young children are not detrimental, and have much potential for benefits in real life. The benefits may be enhanced by fitting directionality early and by counselling caregivers on ways to maximize benefits in everyday situations.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Cochlear implantation in the very young child: Long-term safety and efficacy

Cochlear implantation in children <12 months of age is safe and efficacious over an extended period of time. Rates and nature of both major and minor complications are comparable to studies in adults and older children and support continued monitoring of these patients over the long-term. Laryngoscope, 2009

from The Laryngoscope

Effects of Verbal Cues Versus Pictorial Cues on the Transfer of Stimulus Control for Children With Autism

The author examined the transfer of stimulus control from instructor assistance to verbal cues and pictorial cues. The intent was to determine whether it is easier to transfer stimulus control to one form of cue or the other. No studies have conducted such comparisons to date; however, literature exists to suggest that visual cues may be preferred. An adapted alternating treatment design within a multiple baseline design across subjects was used in this investigation to compare effects when teaching two functional skills to four young students with autism. Results indicate that it is more efficient to achieve transfer of stimulus control from instructor assistance to pictorial cues for three of the participants.

from Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

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