Blog Archives

Working memory training improves reading processes in typically developing children

The goal of this study was to investigate whether a brief cognitive training intervention results in a specific performance increase in the trained task, and whether there are transfer effects to other nontrained measures. A computerized, adaptive working memory intervention was conducted with 9- to 11-year-old typically developing children. The children considerably improved their performance in the trained working memory task. Additionally, compared to a matched control group, the experimental group significantly enhanced their reading performance after training, providing further evidence for shared processes between working memory and reading.

from Child Neuropsychology


Social perception of deafness in the educational environment: designing an evaluation questionnaire

This article analyzes the results of a pilot study of the application of a proposed questionnaire on social perception of deafness in the primary and secondary education setting. The first part of the article discusses the rationale for evaluating the integration of deaf girls and boys in mainstream schools and the suitability of the questionnaire for this purpose.

The second part describes the process of drafting the items covering aspects such as the quality of communication, social perceptions of deafness from the point of view of the hearing person, deaf students’ self-esteem and the degree of social integration they can attain.

from Revista de Logopedia, Foniatría y Audiología

Formal literacy of first and second grade students of a public elementary school

CONCLUSION: Second grade had better results than first grade. The results were more significant in subtests that required deeper understanding of the phoneme-grapheme association and vice-versa, suggesting that school literacy is necessary when social literacy is not present.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Aphasia Advocacy and Community Education: Speaking Out! and Beyond

Speaking Out!, a unique co-sponsored national conference, was one of National Aphasia Association’s (NAA) best-known efforts. Recognizing the need to serve a wider aphasia community, NAA partnered with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) Stroke Research and Training Center grant funded by the National Institute on Disability Research and Rehabilitation (NIDRR) to conduct regional conferences modeled on the Speaking Out! proven framework. In June 2010, the first regional Speaking Out! conference was held in Washington, DC. Conference models will be outlined with history and goals; outcomes/lessons learned will be discussed. State-of-the-art features will be summarized with implications for people with aphasia moving forward with their lives.

from Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation

The Stammering Information Programme A Delphi Study

This study demonstrates the value of including service users when devising materials aimed for the benefit of CWS. The methodology employed ensured that ideas, perceptions and needs were representative of a range of people who experience stuttering from different perspectives. The results indicated that each expert panel had different priorities of what should be included. The resulting resources may therefore be considered to have high content validity and would be predicted to meet the needs of those who require them.

from Journal of Fluency Disorders

Stuttering severity and educational attainment

Future research is needed to investigate how this result should be addressed in educational institutions.

from Journal of Fluency Disorders

EDUCATION OF EUROPEAN FLUENCY SPECIALISTS The European Clinical Specialization on Fluency Disorders (ECSF)

The European Clinical Specialization on Fluency Disorders (ECSF) project consists of one-year post-qualification fluency specialization training and a harmonized graduate fluency program. It was developed by eight European universities/colleges to provide the means whereby graduates would meet comparable standards of competence to practice in the field of fluency disorders. In this paper we describe criteria that guided the consortium in their decision making process to create an optimal learning environment for participants. A review of the first completed course cycle, with 23 international participants, is discussed.

from Journal of Fluency Disorders

Improving digit span assessment of short-term verbal memory

We measured digit span (DS) in two experiments that used computerized presentation of randomized auditory digits with performance-adapted list length adjustment. A new mean span (MS) metric of DS was developed that showed reduced variance, improved test-retest reliability, and higher correlations with the results of other neuropsychological test results when compared to traditional DS measures. The MS metric also enhanced the sensitivity of forward versus backward span comparisons, enabled the development of normative performance criteria with subdigit precision, and elucidated changes in DS performance with age and education level. Computerized stimulus delivery and improved scoring metrics significantly enhance the precision of DS assessments of short-term verbal memory.

from the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology

Movie subtitles reading skills of elementary school children*

BACKGROUND: the abilities of school children for reading static texts have been widely discussed, however little is known about how well they can read dynamic texts and what skills are required for this kind of reading.
AIM: to evaluate the skills involved in reading movie subtitles of 2nd and 4th graders of students at the a public school.
METHOD: analysis of the level and skills needed for movie subtitles reading, through the retelling of a section of a movie watched individually by 60 students, 30 2nd graders and 30 4th graders matched for age and gender, with no sound and with subtitles.
RESULTS: there were no significant differences in the level of school literacy between students of the different school grades. Considering the skills and the subtitles reading level, 4th graders presented a significant better performance when compared to the 2nd graders. Fourth graders presented skills related to the levels of literal comprehension and independent comprehension, whereas 2nd graders where mostly at the decoding level.
CONCLUSION: 2nd graders are at the textual decoding level of movie subtitles, while 4th graders are at the literal comprehension level of movie subtitles. This indicates that schooling has an influence on the reading of movie subtitles. However, the school literacy literacy was not a significant factor for movie subtitles reading.

from Pró-Fono Revista de Atualização Científica

Level of Education and Category Fluency Task among Spanish Speaking Elders: Number of Words, Clustering, and Switching Strategies

It has been well documented that education influences the individual’s performance on category fluency tasks but it is still unclear how this effect may differ across the different types of category tasks (i.e., animals, fruits, vegetables and clothing). This study aims (1) to analyze the effect of the level of education on four different types of category fluency tasks among elder Hispanic Americans and (2) to provide normative information on a population with different education levels that was previously screened for neurological and psychiatric conditions. In addition this study examines the semantic strategies used by these individuals to complete the fluency tasks. The sample included 105 healthy Hispanic individuals (age 55-98; 29 males and 76 females) divided into three education groups (11 years of education). Results showed that after controlling for age and gender, education has a main effect and is a strong predictor of performance in verbal fluency for the categories animals and clothing with increasing educational attainment being associated with higher category fluency scores and with more switches between categories. These findings suggest that the category fruit is less influenced by level of education than the other three semantic categories and may be a more appropriate test across different educational groups. Results from this study provide a reference for clinicians assessing verbal fluency in Spanish speaking populations.

from Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition

Literacy abilities of first grade elementary school children after speech and language intervention

The literacy program developed in this study was effective in promoting relevant qualitative changes in vocabulary, literacy, phonological awareness and reading abilities, even though the quantitative results did not show statistically significant differences.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Music Training Improves Pitch Perception in Prelingually Deafened Children With Cochlear Implants

Musical training seems to improve pitch perception ability in prelingually deafened children with a cochlear implant. Auditory plasticity might play an important role in such enhancement. This suggests that incorporation of a structured training program on music perception early in life and as part of the postoperative rehabilitation program for prelingually deafened children with cochlear implants would be beneficial. A longitudinal study is needed to show whether improvement of music performance in these children is measurable by use of auditory evoked potentials.

from Pediatrics

Teaching evidence-based practice to speech and language therapy students in the United Kingdom

We outline three ways in which evidence-based practice (EBP) is formally embedded into the curricula for pre-registration Speech and Language Therapy students and experienced Speech and Language Therapists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. We describe key features of an undergraduate module, an undergraduate clinical placement, and a new Master’s degree program, each aimed at encouraging critical thinking and clinical problem-solving skills in students.

from Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention

Parents’ views on the quality of life of their children 2–3 years after cochlear implantation

Parents report that cochlear implants affect their children in a wide variety of ways that cannot be summarized by a single scale. A broader descriptive framework is required to capture their experiences adequately.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

Evaluation of Social Work Communication Skills to Allow People with Aphasia to be Part of the Decision Making Process in Healthcare.

The purpose of this paper is to examine how social workers are trained to interact with individuals with communication barriers in healthcare. Consent to treatment and the right to decide upon a discharge destination are enshrined in law. However, barriers such as aphasia (a communication disorder commonly resulting from a stroke) can mask competency and exclude people from the decision making process. Social workers play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing advocacy, case management, counselling, addressing capacity and assessing the patient as a whole person. But they need to be taught specialized communication skills to carry out this complex role with individuals with aphasia. A literature search and survey of universities revealed that the majority of training in supported communication is taking place in the field and driven by aphasia centres. But does the training meet the needs of social workers and their patients with aphasia, especially when someone needs a healing conversation? Results from two pilot projects show that teaching a set of skills is not sufficient; adaptation of present communication techniques is also needed to ensure that the human worth and dignity of those with communication barriers is maintained and human rights in healthcare are being met.

from Social Work Education