Blog Archives

Using the Preschool Language Scale, Fourth Edition to Characterize Language in Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Conclusions: The PLS–4 can be used to obtain a general index of early syntax and semantic skill in young children with ASD. Longitudinal data will be necessary to determine how the developmental relationship between receptive and expressive language skills unfolds in children with ASD.

from American Journal of Speech Language Pathology

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A systematic review of the effect of tympanostomy tubes in children with recurrent acute otitis media

Conclusion
Insertion of tympanostomy tubes or long-term treatment with antibiotics seems to prevent one attack of AOM or keep one child out of three free from AOM in six months.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

How cognitive factors affect language development in children with intellectual disabilities

The present study investigated the language development of 50 children with intellectual disabilities (ID) and 42 typically developing children from age 4 to 5 years, and was designed to shed more light on the respective roles of phonological working memory (WM) and nonverbal intelligence in vocabulary and syntax development. Results showed that nonverbal intelligence predicted phonological WM, vocabulary and syntax of children with ID at age 4 and 5, and that it only predicted these skills at age 4 in typically developing children. Furthermore, syntax at age 5 was predicted by vocabulary at age 4 in children with ID, which points to children with ID requiring a larger critical mass of vocabulary for syntactic development to be initiated.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

Body awareness in preschool children with psychiatric disorder

The purpose of this study was to investigate the body awareness of preschool children with a psychiatric disorder as measured by the test imitation of gestures (Bergès & Lézine, 1978), using the subsections for pointing to body parts (passive vocabulary) and naming body parts (active vocabulary). Seventy-seven children from 37 to 72 months of age with psychiatric disorders and 67 children without psychiatric disorders were matched for age and sex. A MANOVA indicated no significant interaction effects on the results between the sexes in the psychiatric group and the control group for passive vocabulary (F(1,150) = .59, p ≥ 0.05) or for active vocabulary (F(1,150) = .61, p ≥ 0.05). An ANOVA was conducted to determine the differences between the boys and girls for passive and active vocabulary, and the differences between the psychiatric group and the control group for passive and active vocabulary. No significant differences between the boys and girls for passive vocabulary (F(1,150) = 1.968, p ≥ 0.05) and active vocabulary (F(1,150) = 1.57, p ≥ 0.05) were found. There was a significant difference between the psychiatric and the control group for passive vocabulary (F(1,150) = 9.511, p = 0.002) and active vocabulary (F(1,150) = 16.18, p = 0.00009). The study provides support for the presence of language disorders associated with active and passive body awareness in children with psychiatric disorders compared to typically developing children.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

New Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised Algorithms for Toddlers and Young Preschoolers from 12 to 47 Months of Age

Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (Rutter et al. in Autism diagnostic interview-revised. Western Psychological Services, Los Angeles, 2003) diagnostic algorithms specific to toddlers and young preschoolers were created using 829 assessments of children aged from 12 to 47 months with ASD, nonspectrum disorders, and typical development. The participants were divided into three more homogeneous groups by language level and age. Items that best differentiated the diagnostic groups were selected and arranged into domains based on multifactor item-response analyses. Using the new algorithms for toddlers and preschool children, we were able to improve sensitivity and specificity compared to the previously developed algorithm.

from the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

Early language intervention for children with intellectual disabilities: A neurocognitive perspective

For children with intellectual disabilities (ID), stimulation of their language and communication is often not a priority. Advancements in brain research provide guidelines for early interventions aimed at the stimulation of language and communication skills. In the present study, the effectiveness of an early language intervention which draws upon neurocognitive principles of language processing and language learning was assessed. Ten children participated in the intervention and 18 were followed for control purposes. The intervention group showed greater progress than the control group. The higher learning gains for the intervention group were mostly driven by the non-speaking children. However, the progress of the intervention children slowed down significantly following intervention.

An early language intervention such as that studied here can accelerate the language development of children with ID. To maintain the effects, however, the intervention should be prolonged in several settings that focus on consecutive learning (e.g., day-care centres and schools).

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

Effects of non-native language exposure on the semantic processing of native language in preschool children

We investigated the effects of non-native language (English) exposure on event-related potentials (ERPs) in first- and second-year (four- and five-year-old) preschool Japanese native speakers while they listened to semantically congruent and incongruent Japanese sentences. The children were divided into a non-native language exposed group (exposed group) and a group without such experiences (control group) on the basis of their exposure to non-native language. We compared the ERPs recorded from the two groups in each of the two preschool years. N400 was observed both in the first- and second-year preschoolers. Differences owing to exposure to non-native language appeared in the second-year preschoolers but not in the first-year preschoolers. In the second-year preschoolers, the N400 onset in the exposed group was shorter than that in the control group, but there was no difference in the N400 offset between the exposed and control groups. Furthermore, the scalp distribution of the N400 in the exposed group was broader than that in the control group. These results indicate that the time course and scalp distribution of semantic processing for native language sentences in young children fluctuated depending on exposure to non-native language.

from Neuroscience Research

Behavioral and Physiological Responses to Child-Directed Speech as Predictors of Communication Outcomes in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Conclusions: Behavioral and physiological responses to CDS are significantly related to concurrent and later communication skills of children with ASD. Furthermore, higher vagal activity during CDS predicts better communication outcomes 12 months later, after initial communication skills are accounted for. Further research is needed to better understand the physiological mechanisms underlying variable responses to CDS among children with ASD.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

A cross-sectional comparison of the effects of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density on word learning by preschool children

Two experiments examined the effects of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density on word learning by 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children. Nonwords orthogonally varying in probability and density were taught with learning and retention measured via picture naming. Experiment 1 used a within story probability/across story density exposure context. Experiment 2 used an across story probability/within story density exposure context. Results showed that probability and density interacted to create optimal learning conditions. Specifically, rare/sparse sound sequences appeared to facilitate triggering of word learning. In contrast, the optimal convergence for lexical configuration and engagement was dependent on exposure context. In particular, common sound sequences and dense neighborhoods were optimal when density was manipulated across stories, whereas rare sound sequences and sparse neighborhoods were optimal when density was manipulated within a story. Taken together, children’s phonological and lexical representations were hypothesized to be interdependent on one another resulting in a convergence of form characteristics for optimal word learning.

from the Journal of Memory and Language

Investigation of the reliability of the SSI-3 for preschool Persian-speaking children who stutter

There is a pressing need in Iran for the translation of widely used speech-language assessment tools into Persian. This study reports the interjudge and intrajudge reliability of a Persian translation of the Stuttering Severity Instrument-3 (SSI-3) (Riley, 1994). There was greater than 80% interjudge and intrajudge agreement on scale scores for Frequency and Duration, 54% interjudge and 62.2% intrajudge agreement for “Physical Concomitants” and greater than 80% interjudge and intrajudge agreement for the Overall score. In conclusion, although percentage agreement for Physical Concomitant Behaviors was low, the Persian translation of SSI-3 shows otherwise acceptable interjudge and intrajudge reliability when performed under ideal conditions.

from Journal of Fluency Disorders

pathways to literacy: connections between family assets and preschool children’s emergent literacy skills

Using a developmental assets framework, we examined the influences of family resources, routines, and stress on preschool-aged children’s emerging literacy development. Data were collected from 85 children as well as from their parents. Using path analysis, the results revealed that the more regular the routines in the household, the more likely parents were to engage their children in literacy enhancing activities, and in turn the higher the children’s print knowledge and reading interest. This was the case both initially and a year later. Results also showed that family resources and stress contributed to aspects of literacy development, although not as strongly as family routines. The findings suggest that interventions should include efforts to promote supportive family contexts as an additional means to enhance children’s literacy development.

from the Journal of Early Childhood Research

The National Outcomes Measurement System for Pediatric Speech-Language Pathology

Discussion: The availability of these data has proven to be a very valuable tool with respect to the efforts of school-based SLPs and administrators to document the beneficial impact of speech-language pathology services in school settings.

from Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools

The Acquisition of Auxiliary Syntax: A Longitudinal Elicitation Study. Part 1: Auxiliary BE

Conclusion: These data are problematic for existing accounts of auxiliary acquisition and highlight the need for researchers working within both generativist and constructivist frameworks to develop more detailed theories of acquisition that directly predict the pattern of acquisition observed.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

The Acquisition of Auxiliary Syntax: A Longitudinal Elicitation Study. Part 2: The Modals and Auxiliary DO

Conclusions: These data cannot be explained in full by existing theories of auxiliary acquisition. Researchers working within both generativist and constructivist frameworks need to develop more detailed theories of acquisition that predict the pattern of acquisition observed.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Word learning by children with phonological delays: Differentiating effects of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density

This study examined the ability of 20 preschool children with functional phonological delays and 34 age- and vocabulary-matched typical children to learn words differing in phonotactic probability (i.e., the likelihood of occurrence of a sound sequence) and neighborhood density (i.e., the number of words that differ from a target by one phoneme). Children were exposed to nonwords paired with novel objects in a story and learning was measured by a picture naming task. Results showed that both groups created lexical representations for rare sound sequences from sparse neighborhoods. However, only children with typical development appeared to build on this initial lexical representation to create a full representation of the word (i.e., lexical-semantic connection and semantic representation). It was hypothesized that creating a lexical representation may be too resource demanding for children with phonological delays, leaving few resources available to create a lexical-semantic connection and/or a semantic representation.

from the Journal of Communication Disorders