Clinical Linguistics

Clinical Linguistics

Clinical Linguistics

Clinical Linguistics

Synopsis

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists estimates that 2.5 million people in the UK have a communication disorder. Of this number, some 800,000 people have a disorder that is so severe that it is hard for anyone outside their immediate families to understand them. In Clinical Linguistics, Louise Cummings provides a comprehensive introduction to speech and language therapy which will give SLT students an excellent starting point for a wide range of communication impairments. In chapters that are dedicated to the discussion of individual communication disorders, Cummings argues that no treatment of this area can reasonably neglect an examination of the prevalence and causes of communication disorders. The assessment and treatment of these disorders by speech and language therapists are discussed at length. This book contains up-to-date research into communication disorders and describes the various technological innovations that are integral to the work of speech and language therapists. Clinical Linguistics is appropriate reading for students, practitioners and researchers in speech-language pathology and related clinical and academic disciplines. It contains the following chapters: The Scope of Clinical Linguistics; Disorders of the Pre- and Perinatal Period; Disorders of Cognitive Development; Disorders of Speech and Language Development; Acquired Communication and Swallowing Disorders; Disorders of Fluency; Disorders of Voice.

Excerpt

In recent years, some remarkable developments have taken place in our knowledge and management of communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Some of these developments have come about through work in medical disciplines: for example, the study of the genetics of specific language impairment. Other developments are the result of technological progress in fields such as computer science and medical diagnostics. One need only consider the phenomenal growth that has recently occurred in augmentative and alternative communication to appreciate the significance of such progress for the management of clients with severe communication disorder. Similarly, the dysphagia clinician and voice therapist rely heavily on these technological achievements in their assessment and treatment of dysphagic and dysphonic clients, respectively. Theoretical developments in linguistics and psychology have also transformed our understanding and management of communication disorders. The greater prominence of pragmatics within linguistics, for example, has encouraged clinicians to reconsider how language disorders are assessed and treated – how aphasic adults manage the demands of different conversational contexts and communicative partners is now as likely (and, perhaps, even more likely) to be addressed in assessment and intervention as is the comprehension and production of certain syntactic structures. Psychologists have radically influenced our understanding of the communicative impairments in autism through their proposal of theories of the core cognitive deficit in this developmental psychopathology. The theory of mind proposals of Simon Baron-Cohen and co-workers hold particular resonance for any speech and language therapist who has witnessed the severe pragmatic deficits of many children and adults with an autistic spectrum disorder.

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