Tag Archives: language

The ‘A’ Word

This chat occurred on APril 29, 2012. You can read the Australian chat here and the N American chat here. Both were very different chats and worth a look!


April is Autism Awareness Month, so what better way for the
#slpeeps to celebrate and highlight the growing need for concern
and awareness about ASD, than to make this the topic of our April

Autism has become the new buzz word in the media and across
various social networks, with celebrities joining in the quest for a
cure, and the app market opening new doorways for children with
Autism. More recently the hot topic has been the possibility that the
new DSM-5 diagnostic criteria will ‘redefine autism,’ and exclude
many from being able to receive services.

Our next discussion will cover many of these topics, as well as
questions about assessment and intervention techniques for ASD.
We also want to cover current trends and research in this area, types
of AAC support, and generally what you as SLPs are doing in your
practice as it relates to ASD.

Once again our chat will be held across 2 different time zones,
giving you two different times to come out and participate. They
are: Sunday, April 29th at 3 pm Sydney, Australia time and again
at 2:00 pm New York, USA time. Don’t forget to check everytimezone.com, the visual timezone that will allow you to put the cursor over each time and
then see what time that will be for you.

We hope to see you out to one or both chats!

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All About Words: Developing first words in Children with Language Delay

You have just assessed 2 year old “Tommy” at your clinic. He presents with severe expressive and receptive delays and has little to no single words.

Does this scenario sound familiar?  If you’re a practicing paediatric speech therapist/pathologist you most likely have met this child at some point during your profession.  If not, be prepared; he/she is coming.  The question is where do you go from that point? What type of intervention approach do you use? What words do you teach him to use first? Many of us immediately start banging our knuckles together saying “moooore.”  However do we have a basis for choosing this word as part of our “first faithfuls”?  Some therapists have argued that “more” actually isn’t a very functional word to learn, whereas others believe it is the most functional for children’s everyday interactions. Our next #slpchat, therefore, will discuss some of the considerations in choosing the first words to teach to children with expressive language delay.

Owens(2004), notes that an important consideration in choosing words for a first lexicon  is that words are functional and fulfill a broad range of communicative purposes. We want to teach children words that they can use often to accomplish their social goals. Lederer (2002) expands this to include not only functionality, but also developmental norms, motivation, lexical variety and phonological information.

Many researchers have compiled their lists of vocab targets for children with language delay. Some contain familiar items within a child’s environment such as names of family members, body parts, preferred foods or toys, while others expand to substantive and relational words as is shown in the table below by Bloom & Lahey (1977).

A good list of early words can also be found in Banajee, Dicarlo, & Stricklin, (2003). Core vocabulary determination for toddlers. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 19, 67-73. Accessed:  http://www.minspeak.com/documents/1-BanajeeList.pdf

We’d like to hear from you! What are you using in therapy? Are you following any particular research/ hierarchy?

Join us for the #slpchat on April 10th, 2011 at 2pm ET, where we will be discussing these vocab choices, as well as your own considerations for early vocabulary, whether it be through verbalization, sign language or any form of AAC. We also wish to look at the types of intervention techniques you use to target this vocabulary.

It would be useful to read the following articles in preparation for our discussion:

Lederer, S.H. (2002). Selecting and facilitating the first vocabulary for children with developmental language delays: A focused stimulation approach. Young Exceptional Children, 6(1), 10-17.

First Words: From Theory to Intervention
Susan Hendler Lederer, Ph.D., Adelphi University, Garden City, NY  http://www.speechpathology.com/articles/article_detail.asp?article_id=329

First Words, First Books, & Focused Language Stimulation
Susan Hendler Lederer, Ph.D. http://www.speechpathology.com/articles/article_detail.asp?article_id=374

We look forward to hearing from you!

Other References:

Lahey, M., & Bloom, L. (1977). Planning a first lexicon: Which words to teach first. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 42, 340-350.

Owens, R. (2004).  Language Disorders, (4th ed.).  Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Paul, R. (2006). Language disorders from infancy to adolescence (pp. 301-305). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

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