Blog Archives

Auditory Processing Theories of Language Disorders: Past, Present, and Future

Conclusion: Research on the role of auditory processing in communication disorders springs from a variety of theoretical perspectives and assumptions, and this variety, combined with controversies over the interpretation of research results, makes it difficult to draw clinical implications from the literature. Neurophysiological research methods are a promising route to better understanding of auditory processing. Progress in theory development and its clinical application is most likely to be made when researchers from different disciplines and theoretical perspectives communicate clearly and combine the strengths of their approaches.

from Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools

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Long-term reading and spelling outcome in Italian adolescents with a history of specific language impairment

Specific language impairment (SLI) diagnosed in the pre-school years is frequently associated with reading and writing difficulties at school age. The nature of this relationship is unclear, despite the availability of a large number of studies, mostly on English speaking children. Phonological processing deficits have been considered the prominent cause of both difficulties. However recent findings in both children with SLI and in children with reading difficulties are not easily accommodated within a single dimensional model explaining the relationship between oral and written language deficits.

from Cortex

Long-term reading and spelling outcome in Italian adolescents with a history of specific language impairment

Our study supports the notion that there is a complex relationship between oral and written language difficulties which may change at different developmental time points, not captured by a single deficit model, but best conceptualized considering multiple interactions between language skills and literacy abilities.

from Cortex

Memory functioning and mental verbs acquisition in children with specific language impairment

Memory and language operate in synergy. Recent literature stresses the importance of memory functioning in interpreting language deficits. Two groups of 50 children each, ages 8–12 were studied. The first group included children with specific language impairment, while the participants in the second group were typically developing children. The two groups, which were matched on age, nonverbal intelligence and varied significantly in verbal ability were examined, using a test battery of four memory functioning (phonological, working and long-term memory) and five mental verb measures. The statistical analyses indicated that the two groups differed significantly in all language and memory measures; a logistic regression analysis revealed that within each main group existed nested subgroups of different developmental patterns with working and long-term memory measures as the most robust discriminate markers of classification. Language impaired children had more difficulties in the acquisition of mental verbs because they are less able to process and store phonological information in working memory and long-term lexicon.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

Fast Mapping and Word Learning by Preschoolers With Specific Language Impairment in a Supported Learning Context: Effect of Encoding Cues, Phonotactic Probability, and Object Familiarity

Conclusion: The results suggest that phonotactic probability and previous lexical knowledge affect word learning in similar ways for children with TD and SLI and that encoding cues were not beneficial for any group.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Assessment of second language proficiency in bilingual children with specific language impairment: A clinical perspective

The goal of this study was to examine to what extent the conditions of restricted input of L2 and SLI have an additive impact on language acquisition. Therefore, the Dutch language achievement of 6-, 7-, and 8-year-old bilingual children with SLI was compared with that of typically developing monolingual Dutch children, typically developing bilingual children, and monolingual Dutch children with SLI. Assuming that speaking a language in varying environments involves distinct subskills that can be acquired in differential patterns, the achievement of phonological, lexical, morphosyntactic and textual abilities were assessed separately. For each of these abilities, it was determined to what extent the conditions of restricted input (first vs. second language) and language deficit (typically developing vs. SLI) cause stagnation or a delay in language acquisition. Bilingual children with SLI perform at a lower level than the other groups in almost all aspects of achievement in Dutch. For language tasks related to the mental lexicon and grammar, an additional disadvantage was evidenced as a result of the combination of learning Dutch as second language and having SLI.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

Behavioral profiles of children with auditory processing disorder and specific language impairment

Purpose: To describe and compare behavioral profiles associated with auditory processing disorder (APD) and specific language impairment (SLI) in school-age children.

from the Journal of Communication Disorders

Behavioral profiles of children with auditory processing disorder and specific language impairment

The behavioral profiles of children with APD and SLI were very similar. Although group mean differences were found, they were difficult to interpret in terms of current theories.

from the Journal of Communication Disorders

Input distribution influences degree of auxiliary use by children with specific language impairment

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) show a protracted period of inconsistent use of tense/agreement morphemes. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether this inconsistent use could be attributed to the children’s misinterpretations of particular syntactic structures in the input. In Study 1, preschool-aged children with SLI and typically developing peers heard sentences containing novel verbs preceded by auxiliary was or sentences in which the novel verb formed part of a nonfinite subject-verb sequence within a larger syntactic structure (e.g. We saw the dog relling). The children were then tested on their use of the novel verbs in contexts that obligated use of auxiliary is. The children with SLI were less accurate than their peers and more likely to produce the novel verb without is if the verb had been heard in a nonfinite subject-verb sequence. In Study 2, children with SLI and typically developing peers were tested on their comprehension of sentences such as The cow sees the horse eating. The children with SLI were less accurate than their peers and were disproportionately influenced by the nonfinite subject-verb clause at the end of the sentence. We interpret these findings within the framework of construction learning.

from Cognitive Linguistics

Input distribution influences degree of auxiliary use by children with specific language impairment

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) show a protracted period of inconsistent use of tense/agreement morphemes. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether this inconsistent use could be attributed to the children’s misinterpretations of particular syntactic structures in the input. In Study 1, preschool-aged children with SLI and typically developing peers heard sentences containing novel verbs preceded by auxiliary was or sentences in which the novel verb formed part of a nonfinite subject-verb sequence within a larger syntactic structure (e.g. We saw the dog relling). The children were then tested on their use of the novel verbs in contexts that obligated use of auxiliary is. The children with SLI were less accurate than their peers and more likely to produce the novel verb without is if the verb had been heard in a nonfinite subject-verb sequence. In Study 2, children with SLI and typically developing peers were tested on their comprehension of sentences such as The cow sees the horse eating. The children with SLI were less accurate than their peers and were disproportionately influenced by the nonfinite subject-verb clause at the end of the sentence. We interpret these findings within the framework of construction learning.

from Cognitive Linguistics

Associations Between Syntax and the Lexicon Among Children With or Without ASD and Language Impairment

Five groups of children defined by presence or absence of syntactic deficits and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) took vocabulary tests and provided sentences, definitions, and word associations. Children with ASD who were free of syntactic deficits demonstrated age-appropriate word knowledge. Children with ASD plus concomitant syntactic language impairments (ASDLI) performed similarly to peers with specific language impairment (SLI) and both demonstrated sparse lexicons characterized by partial word knowledge and immature knowledge of word-to-word relationships. This behavioral overlap speaks to the robustness of the syntax–lexicon interface and points to a similarity in the ASDLI and SLI phenotypes.

from the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Motor skills, haptic perception and social abilities in children with mild speech disorders

Conclusions: In children with mild expressive-SLI the functional motor performance, haptic perception and social interaction are considerably more affected than in children with AD. Although motor difficulties in speech production are prevalent in AD, it is localised and does not involve children’s general motor skills, haptic perception or social interaction.

from Brain and Development

CNTNAP2 variants affect early language development in the general population

Early language development is known to be under genetic influence, but the genes affecting normal variation in the general population remain largely elusive. Recent studies of disorder reported that variants of the CNTNAP2 gene are associated both with language deficits in specific language impairment (SLI) and with language delays in autism. We tested the hypothesis that these CNTNAP2 variants affect communicative behavior, measured at 2 years of age in a large epidemiological sample, the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Singlepoint analyses of 1149 children (606 males, 543 females) revealed patterns of association which were strikingly reminiscent of those observed in previous investigations of impaired language, centered on the same genetic markers, and with a consistent direction of effect (rs2710102, p = .0239; rs759178, p = .0248). Based on these findings we performed analyses of four-marker haplotypes of rs2710102-rs759178-rs17236239-rs2538976, and identified significant association (haplotype TTAA, p = .049; haplotype GCAG, p = .0014). Our study suggests that common variants in the exon 13-15 region of CNTNAP2 influence early language acquisition, as assessed at age 2, in the general population. We propose that these CNTNAP2 variants increase susceptibility to SLI or autism when they occur together with other risk factors.

from Genes, Brain, and Behavior

Exploring the Outcomes of a Novel Computer-Assisted Treatment Program Targeting Expressive-Grammar Deficits in Preschoolers with SLI

Conclusion
: Results suggested that treatments designed to directly address expressive-grammar deficits were better than no treatment for preschool SLI. Further, use of a C-AT program may be another feasible treatment method for this disorder population.

from the Journal of Communication Disorders

Are children with Specific Language Impairment competent with the pragmatics and logic of quantification?

Children with SLI performed more poorly than a group of age-matched typically-developing peers, and both groups performed more poorly with pragmatics than with logical meaning. Moreover, children with SLI were disproportionately challenged by pragmatic meaning compared to their age-matched peers. However, the performance of children with SLI was comparable to that of a group of younger language-matched typically-developing children. The findings document that children with SLI do face difficulties with employing the maxim of informativeness, as well as with understanding the logical meaning of quantifiers, but also that these difficulties are in keeping with their overall language difficulties rather than exceeding them. The implications of these findings for SLI, linguistic theory, and clinical practice are discussed.

from Cognition