Why is the study of language acquisition in developmental disorders important to understand language? Discuss the topic on the basis of at least three atypical populations and three types of speech impairments.
Why the study of language acquisition in developmental disorders important to understand language
Language acquisition is the human process of acquiring the capacity to perceive and comprehend language and at the same time produce words of that language by using them to construct words and sentences for communication. In most cases, this concept refers to first language acquisition where infants acquire their native language from the settings that they live in (Sousa, 2011). The distinction is different from second language acquisition which takes place during learning using a different script. Kennison (2013) suggests that development disorders are a group abnormalities that originate from genetic, behavioral deficits, learning disability and lastly, environmental disorders that originate from environmental factors. this disorders create psychiatric conditions during childhood that lead to impairment of children in certain areas of their life. For example,, these may manifest in areas of learning disorders, language development, autism and even dyslexias.
According to Kuhl (2010) children with learning disorders are discovered when still under the age of nine years. Such children may fail to completely speak or they can have a limited vocabulary as compared to children their age. Complicated cases include children having difficulty understanding simple directions and inability to name common objects that exist within their environment. The study of language acquisition in developmental disorders is important in understanding language since it leads insights on the issues that population with specific disorders face. This essay analyses children populations with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Autism, and dyslexia and their relation to the speech impairments of reception, fluency and voice disorders.
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by troubles with social interaction and communication by restricted and repetitive behaviour. Children with this disorder can be discovered at the age of two years since the signs develop gradually (Eberhardt & Nadig, 2013). This condition is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The condition affects the development of speech since the children do not have enough vocabulary in their language. One characteristic that children from this population display is the repetitive behaviour which is common in their pattern of learning language and performing tasks. Autistic children have speech reception challenges which make it difficult for them to follow simple commands or directions. Such children may fail to respond to their names or appear like they are ignoring what they are being told. When children develop in their environment, they use language for social reasons for interaction and conversation. However, autistic people use words to regulate their environment for example, to demand or protest something (Mody & Belliveau, 2013). Further, these children have apraxia or oral-motor impairment that impacts their ability to communicate. The social deficit in autistic children manifests itself as a receptive language impairment which makes it difficult for such children to understand what others say. In most cases, autistic children tend to ignore voices around them since it is a weakness that they have in their system. This is due to attention issues that leads them not to coordinate speech sound with their brain.
Further, Lyytinen, Erskine, & Aro (2009) state that autism is also linked to expressive disorders that affect the ability of such children to completely express themselves. This is not based on limited vocabulary but rather development apraxia which leads to difficulty saying some sounds and syllables. This is caused by limited coordination between the rain and the specific parts of the body to produce the intended sound. This leads to the use of spoken language that is far below the required age. The problem develops from receptive challenges that the child has which makes it difficult to express language. Autistic children start with the problem of using babble language which is an imitation of what others say. Since children learn how to communicate through imitation, then poor reception leads to poor expression since the individual suffers from language processing. Understanding these difficulties informs language development mechanisms that can be used to improve the language of the child.
Sometimes, autistic children have stuttering speech which affects their language fluency. Such children are clear on the words that they need to speak but have difficulty bringing the words out. Such characteristics are seen in repetition of sounds, syllables, prolonged sounds and becoming stuck on sound speeches (Mortimer & Rvachew, 2010). Some situations are also reported in disfluency. Awareness of disfluency is variable in many autistic people, especially among those who clutter and/or exhibit atypical disfluencies. It is important to note that awareness occurs along a continuum. Each person should be assessed as an individual to determine which factors may be contributing to difficulties with efficient and effective communication and therefore may need to be addressed in treatment.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental disorder characterized by problems paying attention or difficulty controlling behaviour. This disorder is most commonly associated with language disorders since language development is related to hearing and listening, it can be attributed to difficulty associated with focused and sustained attention to voice and sounds within the environment. According to Windsor & Kohnert (2009) such children develop challenges in comprehending language since they lack the required attention to meet the standard of comprehending a language. Children with this problem have reported cases of difficulty switching topics and answering questions. Such children experience delayed speech patterns and may develop Further, issues like voice quality and the inability to express themselves in the right volume. Since these children have difficulty expressing themselves and achieving higher attention levels, they have the challenge of organizing thoughts thus slowing down their speech level (Redmond, 2016). Such kids say anything that comes in their mind without necessarily understanding what it means or whether it relates to the topic of discussion. The outcome of this challenge is lack of speech reception abilities that allow them to comprehend whatever is being said to determine the response that needs to be given.
According to Refaat, ElSadyaAhlam, Abdel-SalamNabeihb, Mostafa, & Sadek (2013) people with this condition exhibit symptoms across different populations. These deficits include challenges in use of syntax and phonology within a population. This limits the level of expression of children with the disability which disrupts formal acquisition of knowledge through learning and talking. Since children with this condition report low attention to direct instructions required for learning or reading. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder language issues suffer the challenges of pragmatic skills such as maintenance, turn taking and vocal intensity.
Dyslexia is a reading disorder characterized by difficulty in reading even if they show high signs of intelligence. Such difficulties that people suffer from include difficulties spelling words, reading quickly and sometimes sounding out words. This disorder therefore affects the speech element of language rather than the written aspect of the language (Ramus, Altarelli, Jednoróg, Zhao, & di Covella, 2017). This problem is caused by both genetic and environmental factors that exist in an individual’s life. The element of writing is supposed to come after children have mastered the oral language and thus can easily learn how to write and read what they have written. The condition exists both as a developmental problem. Factors like cognitive deficits, neurological factors, premature birth and low birthweight can also contribute to the problem. Further, Shao, et al., 2016) argue that fluency of speech and voice are affected by the cognitive challenges in the development of the child which affect the ability to pronounce words well. This challenge is not related to intelligence but rather to development aspects in the child. Cognitive abilities are not related to intelligence and this is the reason why people who have this condition may report higher intelligence levels but still suffer speech impairments that may be genetically related or caused by the environment.
From the discussion above, language process is a complex biological aspect that consists of neural network distributed through different areas of the brain to allow the individual make and recognize speech. This is seen as multiple sounds that the individual produces through coordination of sounds to form speech. The study of development disorders in children plays a major role in understanding the challenges that children who exhibit speech difficulties face and developing strategies that to assist such children overcome the difficulties. Speech impairments range from different challenges that can be developmental, genetic and environmental. Development disorders affect the way children grow and interact with the environment. Language is a cognitive aspect of development that relies on the interaction of the child with the environment to learn a language through imitation and later perfect by speaking the language. Any development disorder that a child experiences affects the level of development as compared to other normal children who interact with the environment well. Therefore, it is important to understand the challenge that the child faces to develop proper speech assistance strategies to overcome the challenge that such a child may be facing.
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hao, S., Niu, Y., Zhang, X., Kong, R., Wang, J., Liu, L., . . . Song, R. (2016). Opposite Associations between Individual KIAA0319 Polymorphisms and Developmental Dyslexia Risk across Populations: A Stratified Meta-Analysis by the Study Population. Scientific Reports.
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