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Hepburn Internship in Language Intervention By Emma Cohan

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1 Hepburn Internship in Language Intervention By Emma Cohan

2 What is Language Delay/ Impairment in Children?  Language delay: excludes any other primary condition with deficits in comprehension (receptive type), production (expressive type), or both (mixed type)  Characteristics include language deficits in semantics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and pragmatics (also some neurocognitive “soft signs” and socio-behavioral deficits typically)  The types norm referenced standards used to diagnose late talking and SLI source of debate. General agreement upon “language endowment spectrum”

3 Theories of Etiology in Language Impairment  Familial: genetic predisposition and child’s conversational environment  **Perceptual: accounts for SLI as an auditory processing problem in discriminating and sequencing sounds resulting in a limited processing capacity  Linguistic Deficit: accounts for SLI as a problem in the linguistic mechanism of language acquisition (such as in universal grammar)  Normal Distribution: accounts for SLI as being the low end of the language endowment spectrum

4 The areas of language impairment Use FormContent

5 What is the theory behind intervention?  Developmental vs. Functional Approach  Drill-Play  Reinforcement  Specific Techniques: Focused stimulation, Expansion/Extension, Modify Linguistic Input, Joint Routines/Scripts, Joint Book Reading

6 Description of Sites  For my internship I divided the day at two field sites:  Mornings spent as an assistant teacher at the Language Enrichment Preschool Program camp run out of the Thorne School  Afternoons spent modeling the language stimulation activities learned at LEPP for individual or small groups of targeted children at the Montgomery Early Learning Center of Norristown

7 A day in the life: LEPP  A morning spread of activities including craft and symbolic play set ups related to our story time theme, plus fine motor toys, art, and sensory stimulation  Circle time story and child presentation  Dramatic, symbolic play interspersed with individual speech therapy  Song time  Snack and Outdoor play

8 A day in the life: MELC  From three classes,teachers selected students known to have language problems ranging from slight articulation problems, to very little comprehensible language (often including exposure to a different primary language than English at home)  Each day I would arrive with a stack of games ranging from sequential narrative puzzles to vocabulary building bingo and specific language processes I planned to target  A lot of trial and error, wide range of childrens’ language abilities challenging

9 What I have come away with from this internship?  A much greater academic and practical understanding of language processes and the complex ways in which they can be impaired  A first hand understanding of the intervention side of an important psychological domain  Confidence in myself as a force for improving the lives of others  The joy of spending my summer interacting with such wonderful children!

10 Sources  Leonard, L. B. (2009). Is Expressive Language Disorder an Accurate Diagnostic Category? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 18,  Paul, Rhea (Ed.)(2007). Language Disorders from a Developmental Perspective: Essays in Honor of Robin S. Chapman. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.  Rescorla, L. (2009). Age 17 Language and Reading Outcomes in Late- Talking Toddlers: Support for a Dimensional Perspective on Language Delay. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52,  Rescorla, Leslie A., Lee, Eliza C.“Chapter 1: Language Impairment in Young Children” in Layton, T., Crais, E., & Watson, L. (2000). Handbook of Early Language Impairment in Children: Nature. Albany: Delmar.  Roseberry-McKibbin, C. (2006). Language Disorders in Children: A Multicultural and Case Perspective. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.


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