Academic journal article Child Development Research

Type and Duration of Home Activities of Children with Specific Language Impairment: Case Control Study Based on Parents' Reports

Academic journal article Child Development Research

Type and Duration of Home Activities of Children with Specific Language Impairment: Case Control Study Based on Parents' Reports

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

According to the International Classification of Diseases 10 (ICD10) [1], children with specific language impairment (SLI) can have diagnosis F80.1 or F80.2 [1]. Diagnosis F80.1 is an expressive language disorder in which the child's ability to use expressive spoken language is markedly below the appropriate level for the mental age, but in which language comprehension is within normal limits. There may or may not be abnormalities in articulation. Diagnosis F80.2 is a receptive language disorder in which the child's understanding of language is below the appropriate level for the mental age. In virtually all cases expressive language will also be markedly affected and abnormalities in word-sound production are common [1].

Among others, environmental factors have been suggested to explain the delayed language development as well as SLI of children [2, 3]. Parents play a critical role in their children's language development, as they are the source of the genes and they modify the home environment of their children, thus, usually, facilitating and scaffolding the language development [4, 5]. For example, one of the most important environmental factors affecting children's language skills has been suggested to be the quality of home literacy [6-8]. Significant relationship has been suggested between retrospectively reported home support for early literacy and performance on language tasks, even in adolescence [9]. However, studies of literacy experiences at home have often been carried out with retrospective questionnaires in which parents estimate the overall quantity of literacy experiences at home [3, 10,11]. Analogously, increased use of media has been reported to induce putative harmful effects on young children's development in several studies among different cultures [12-15]. Because of the reports suggesting the negative effects of screen time on the development of a child the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has even recommended limiting the daily screen time [16]. However, the possible differences of screen time have not been studied prospectively in children with and without SLI.

The effect of nature-nurture relationship on language development has been studied along many decades [17, 18] and, to support its significance, findings of empirical studies have suggested that collaborative work between parents and speech and language therapists (SLTs) benefits children's language development [19, 20]. The focus of the intervention has turned from face-to-face with children settings to collaboration between parents and professionals [17, 19-21]. Furthermore, the International Classification of Functions (ICF) [22] calls for recognizing the environmental factors and considering them as part of intervention. This environmental intervention includes collaboration between parents and clinicians, because this collaboration and advising is supposed to have an effect also on the daily living of children that is expected to manifest itself as increased time spent at home on the recommended tasks and recommended daily activities. The quality of home literacy [6-8], activities like playing with peers and physical playing [23, 24], and use of media, especially television, [12-15] are just those putative daily activities which could be subjects of ecological intervention [18, 22] for children with SLI.

However, there is limited knowledge of the connections of language impairment on the daily activities of children with SLI, and these data are solely based on retrospective studies as stated before. Retrospective studies are prone to various biases [25]. To detect the putative differences in daily activities this study aimed at collecting information prospectively about the home activities of the children with SLI and their matched controls by using parents' daily reports. Our interest targeted the activities when children are at home with their parents.

2. Materials and Methods

2. …

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