When words are not enough: Investigate the speech and language related difficulties for children with autism aged 5-11

Edwards, Sarah Ellen (2013) When words are not enough: Investigate the speech and language related difficulties for children with autism aged 5-11. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Autism is now an everyday word. This was not always the case. Since the 1980’s, the disorder has attracted a growing cadre of researchers, clinicians and educational professionals, as knowledge of its’ potentially devastating affects on the triad of impairments became apparent. Most significantly, was the shift from viewing it as only affecting the pragmatics of language to in fact disturbing both verbal and non-verbal domains of communication and in turn, jeopardizing fundamental social skills, and long-term outcomes. This emphasis on speech and language difficulties for children with autism is unavoidable, and consequently where the forthcoming dissertation is concerned.
    Initially, the discussion is devoted to providing a general overview of the speech and language related problems of the non-autistic population with a view to offer a comparison base from which those of children with autism can be measured against and their deviances and complexities realised. Based on a medical approach, an explanation of their possible causes are given and, because research has exposed a higher prevalence of these problems in boys than girls and for children from socio-economic backgrounds, these notions are also discussed.
    The direction of investigation then shifts to autism itself, where particular attention is paid to its unique speech and language features amongst others. Thus, armed with an understanding of its’ variation between individuals, and as speech and language therapists regard ‘spontaneity’ of speech as the most desired goal for these children, it looks at the range of intervention techniques and support systems that are in place for children both in a clinic and within their school and home environments. This is supported by a few examples, from conventional and well-approved strategies to those less well known, ‘cutting-edge’, and subsequently more controversial.
    While comparisons of children with autism are made against those without, this is done as a means of explaining the differences and not to try and ‘correct’ or ‘repair’ their development. This dissertation was informed by the most relevant, verifiable and exciting research from secondary sources of literature accumulated to date.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Education and Childhood Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2013 14:30
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/13986

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