Monday, August 24, 2015

An Overview of the Nervous System (Part 1)

An overview of the nervous system (Part I):

The human nervous system is a complex union composed of the brain, spinal cord, and all associated nerves, ganglia, nuclei, and sense organs. This system is responsible for mediating human behavior.

The brain is a highly specialized part of the nervous system. The brain is responsible for higher level functions including the ability to reason and to use a complex language system.

Cerebral Hemispheres:
The cerebral hemispheres are the major divisions of the brain. Located in the brain and responsible for dividing the brain into individual hemispheres which have different responsibilities.

Four Lobes:
The four lobes of the human brain consist of the frontal lobe, occipital lobe, temporal lobe, and parietal lobe. These lobes are the major landmarks of the human brain. Respectively, each of the four lobes is said to be responsible for specific functions.

Fissures are the grooves in the brain. They are the valleys. These grooves are found on the surface of the human brain and serve no specific function except to serve as landmarks and cross sections of the human brains four lobes.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Easy Does It for Fluency

Therapy Materials for Fluency

Easy Does It for Fluency Preschool/Primary

Easy Does It for Fluency is a step by step fluency-shaping program for young stutterers (ages 2-6). It features a comprehensive, two-book program. The therapy manual provides activities with goals and objectives, suggestions for indirect and direct therapy, techniques for involving support providers, take-home letters, and sample lesson plans for individualizing therapy. The materials book provides reproducible activity sheets including: play oriented tasks, puppets, cut and paste activities, and rebus stories.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Language Assessment Toll for the Birth to 3 Population

A Language Assessment Tool for the Birth to Three Population

The Rosetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale

The Rosetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale is a criterion referenced measure for children ages birth to three. It assists the clinician in collecting reliable samples of infant behavior by examining six preverbal and verbal domains. Features of the assessment include a way to assess infant gestures, pragmatics, play, interaction and attachment, language and comprehension, and language expression. Direct elicitation of behavior, spontaneous observation of behavior, or parent report may be used to collect information for each area.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Seven Stages of Language Functioning

Seven Stages of Language Functioning

Stage 1: Interpreted Communication. (Birth to 4 months)

Stage 2: Intentional Communication (4 to 9 months)

Stage 3: Single Words (9 to 18 months)

Stage 4: Word Combinations (18 to 24 months)

Stage 5: Early Syntax (24 to 36 months)

Stage 6: Syntax Mastery (3 to 5 years)

Stage 7: Complete Generative Grammar (5 years and up)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Basic Human Communication

01A: Language Acquisition and Learning Theory

- What is language acquisition?

Language acquisition is the very complex process by which humans acquire language. Although researchers agree that language acquisition is complex, the manner of which an individual acquires language has been long debated. The debate revolves around how much nature and nurture influence language learning.

- What are three theories of language acquisition?

Language acquisition theories can be categorized into three views:
(1) environmental theory, (2) biological theory and (3) cognitive theory.

Learning theorists believe in the environmental theory of language acquisition. Learning theorists, such as Skinner, believe a child has no innate knowledge of language and is born with a “blank slate”. They believe that behavior and language is learned and is based on interaction with the environment. They believe that language is no different than any other behavior in that it is learned and it is an operant behavior. The environment effects language development and how one uses language is affected directly by the environment.

Nativists believe in the biological theory of language acquisition. Nativists, such as Chomsky and Lenneberg, believe that language is an innate system that emerges as the nervous system develops. Chomsky and Lenneberg had very similar ideas. They believe that various language development stages that a child goes through occur not because of learning but because of maturity…that is that language development is biologically driven. They believe that language is a function of physiological processes. They do believe that you must be exposed to language to speak, but that ultimately language is preprogrammed and the environment does not necessarily change the fixed order or sequence of acquisition.

Cognitive theorists believe in the cognitive theory of language acquisition. Cognitive theorists, such as Piaget, believe that language is a series of cognitive discoveries that a person makes, and when experience and maturity coincide language will be discovered. Cognitive theory is based on concept development and reasoning processes. Cognitive theorists believe that the interaction with the environment as well as the maturation of the nervous system results in cognitive development. They believe that acquisition occurs when an individual exhibits “readiness”, meaning that realizations occur when the individual is exposed to critical experiences and are cognitively ready to process the experiences. They believe that language is not learned, but rather it is discovered. They believe that skills have prerequisite skills.

- Important terms regarding language acquisition:
• Critical period (Lenneberg): evidence that primary acquisition of first language is dependent upon certain neurological skills; between 2 and 13 years
• Mands (Skinner): commands
• Tact (Skinner): come in contact with; acknowledging intent
• Adaptation (Piaget): ability to adapt to environment
• Cognitive dissonance: unable to process certain information because it is out of place
• Object permanence: realization that things exist even though you can’t see them
• Causality: cognitive discovery that things happen for a reason
• Means-ends: realization that you can use things to make things happen
• Representational thinking (symbolic play): discovery that certain things can stand for other things
• Imitation: ability for individual to do what someone else just did