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COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE

communication the exchange of information and ideas: involves encoding, transmitting, and decoding messages

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speech modifications (e.g., variations in pitch, intonation, rate of delivery, pauses) that change

are nonlanguage sounds (e.g., “oohh”, laugh) and

paralinguistic behaviors

the form and meaning of the message

W nonlinguistic cues

include body posture, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, head

and body movement, and physical proximity

language

gestures, and other symbols to enable communication with one another

a common system used by a group of people for giving meaning to sounds, words,

phonology

the study of the linguistic rules governing a language's sound system; the English

morphology

language uses approximately 45 different sound elements, called phonemes how the basic units of meaning are combined into words; a morpheme is the

syntax

smallest element of language that carries meaning the system or rules governing the meaningful arrangement of words into sentences

semantics

a system of rules that relate phonology and syntax to meaning; describes how

pragmatics

people use language to convey meaning a set of rules (e.g., turn taking) governing how language is used

SPEECH

speech the behavior of producing a language code by making appropriate vocal sound patterns

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Although not the only possible vehicle for expressing language (gestures, manual signing, pictures, and written symbols can also be used), speech is a most effective and efficient method.

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Speech is one of the most complex and difficult human endeavors.

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Speech sounds are the product of four separate but related processes:

respiration

breathing provides the power supply for speech

phonation

the production of sound when the vocal folds of the larynx are drawn

resonation

together by the contraction of specific muscles causing the air to vibrate the sound quality of the vibrating air is shaped as it passes through the

articulation

throat, mouth, and sometimes nasal cavities the formation of specific, recognizable speech sounds by the tongue, lips, teeth, and mouth

NORMAL SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Birth to 6 Months

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first communicates by crying; different types of crying are selected via parental attention

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comfort sounds--coos, gurgles, and sighs--develop into babbling

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vowel sounds are produced earlier than consonants

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may react differently to loud and soft voices

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turns eyes and head in the direction of a sound

6 to 12 Months

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babbling becomes differentiated by end of first year and contains some of the phonetic elements of the meaningful speech of 2- year-olds

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baby develops inflection--her voice rises and falls

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may respond appropriately to "no," "bye-bye," or her own name and may perform an action, such as clapping her hands, when told to will repeat simple sounds and words, such as "mama"

12

to 18 Months

W by 18 months, says several words with appropriate meaning

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pronunciation is far from perfect (e.g., “tup” for cup, “goggie” for dog)

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communicates by pointing and perhaps saying a word or two

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responds to simple commands (e.g., "Give me the cup.")

18

to 24 Months

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echolaliarepeating the speech they hearis common; normal developmental phase

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great spurt in acquisition and use of speech

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receptive vocabulary grows rapidly and may reach 1,000 words by age 2

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understands concepts as "soon" and "later" and makes more subtle distinctions between objects, such as cats and dogs, and knives, forks, and spoons

NORMAL SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (con’t)

2 to 3 Years

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expressive vocabulary of up to 900 words, averaging 3 to 4 words per sentence

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participates in conversations

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identifies colors, uses plurals, and tells simple stories

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follows compound commands (e.g., "Pick up the doll and bring it to me.")

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uses most vowel sounds and some consonant sounds correctly

3 to 4 Years

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has lots to say, speaks rapidly, and asks many questions

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sentences become longer and more varied (e.g., "Cindy's playing in water.")

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understands children's stories and concepts as funny, bigger, and secret

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substitutes certain sounds, perhaps saying "baf" for bath, or "yike" for like.

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repetitions and hesitations (e.g., "b-b-ball," "l-l-little") are normal

4 to 5 Years

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vocabulary of over 1,500 words and uses sentences averaging 5 words in length

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begins to modify speech for the listener

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uses conjunctions such as if, when, and because

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recites poems and sings songs from memory

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may still have difficulty with some consonant sounds (e.g., /r/, /s/, /z/) and blends (e.g., "tr," "gl," "sk," "str")

After 5 Years

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typical 6-year-old uses most of the complex forms of adult English

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some consonant sounds and blends are not mastered until age 7 or 8

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grammar and speech patterns of child in first grade usually match those of her family, neighborhood, and region

DEFINING COMMUNICATION DISORDERS

When does a communication difference become a communication disorder? Emerick and Haynes (1986) emphasize the impact that a communication pattern has on one's life and suggest that a communication difference be considered a disability when any of these criteria are met:

W the transmission and/or perception of messages is faulty

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the person is placed at an economic disadvantage

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the person is placed at a learning disadvantage

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the person is placed at a social disadvantage

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there is a negative impact upon the person's emotional growth

W the problem causes physical damage or endangers the health of the person

IDEA defines the speech or language impaired category of disability as:

a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language

impairment, or voice impairment which adversely affects

performance

educational

SPEECH DISORDERS

A child’s speech is considered impaired when it deviates so far from the speech of other people of the same age and cultural group that it

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calls attention to itself,

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interferes with communication, or

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articulation disorders malfunction or improper use of the complicated system of muscles, nerves, and organs resulting in four kinds of speech sound errors:

substitution

saying one sound for another (e.g., "doze" for those)

distortion

producing unfamiliar, nonstandard speech sounds (e.g., "schleep," "zleep," or

"thleep" for sleep)

omission

leaving out a sound in a word (e.g., "cool" for school)

addition

adding extra sounds (e.g., "buhrown" for brown)

fluency disorders interruptions in the flow of speech, characterized by atypical rate, rhythm, and repetitions in sounds, syllables, words, and phrases

cluttering

speech is very rapid with extra sounds or mispronounced sounds; speech is

stuttering

garbled to the point of unintelligibility repetitions of consonant or vowel sounds, especially at the beginning of words; complete verbal blocks

SPEECH DISORDERS (con’t)

stuttering (con't.)

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cause remains unknown

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more common among males than females

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regardless of what language is spoken, about 1% of the general population has a stuttering

problem

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considered a disorder of childhood; typically begins between ages of 3 and 5, rarely begins past the age of 6

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appears to be related to the setting or circumstances of speech

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most people who stutter are fluent about 95% of the time; may not stutter when singing,

talking to their pets, or reciting a poem in unison with others

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all children experience some dysfluencies in the course of developing normal speech patterns; it is important not to overreact and insist on perfect speech

voice disorders abnormal production and/or absences of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, and/or duration

phonation

voice sounds breathy, hoarse, husky, or strained; in severe cases, there is no voice at

all

resonance

either too many (hypernasality) or not enough (hyponasality) sounds coming out through the air passages of the nose

LANGUAGE DISORDERS

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) defines a language disorder as impaired comprehension and/or use of spoken, written, and/or other symbol systems. The disorder may involve (1) the form of language (phonology,

morphology, and syntax), (2) the content of language (semantics), and/or (3)

the function of language in communication (pragmatics) in any combination (1993, p. 40). receptive language disorder difficulty in understanding language

W may be unable to learn the days of the week in proper order or may find it

impossible to follow a sequence of commands, such as "Pick up the paint

brushes, wash them in the sink, and then put them on a paper towel to dry."

expressive language disorder difficulty in expressing oneself through language

W may have a limited vocabulary for his age, be confused about the order of sounds or words ("hostipal," "aminal," "wipe shield winders"), and use tenses and plurals incorrectly ("Them throwed a balls").

ASSESSING COMMUNICATION DISORDERS

A comprehensive evaluation to detect the presence of a communication disorder would likely include the following components. articulation test assesses the frequency and types of speech errors the child is making hearing test determines whether a hearing problem is causing the communication disorder

auditory discrimination test

vocabulary and language development test determines the amount of vocabulary the child has acquired; an overall language test, which assesses the child's understanding and

production of language structures, is also frequently used

language samples provides an accurate example of the child's expressive speech and language; child may be asked to describe a picture, tell a story, or answer open-ended questions observation in natural settings provides samples of the child's speech and language

competence in various social contexts

determines whether the child is hearing sounds correctly

NATURALISTIC INTERVENTIONS FOR LANGUAGE TEACHING

Naturalistic interventions (also called milieu teaching strategies)occur in real or simulated activities that naturally occur in the home, school, or community environments in which a child normally functions. They involve:

structuring the environment to create numerous opportunities for desired child responses (e.g., holding up a toy and asking, "What do you want?"), and

structuring adult responses to a child's communication (e.g., the child points outside and says, "Go wifth me," and the teacher says, "OK, I'll go with you.").

Kaiser (in press) suggests six strategies for creating naturalistic opportunities for

language teaching:

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interesting materials

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out of reach

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inadequate portions

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choice-making

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AUGMENTATIVE AND ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION

augmentative and alternative communication (ACC)

methods to assist individuals who are unable to meet their communication needs through speech or writing

a diverse set of strategies and

ACC has three components:

a representational symbol set or vocabulary

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a means for selecting the symbols

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a means for transmitting the symbols

Each of the three components of ACC may be unaided and aided.

Unaided techniques do not require a physical aid or device; they include oral speech, gestures, facial expressions, general body posture, and manual signs.

Aided techniques involve an external device or piece of equipment such as a communication board or computerized speech synthesizer.