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SPECIAL POPULATIONS
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
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A group of disabling conditions affecting movement
and posture
Caused by a defect or lesion to one or more specific
areas of the brain
Damage may occur during fetal development, during
delivery, shortly after birth or in early infancy. Usually
before 2 years of age.
The effects of CP can range from isolated
articulation problems to severe sensorimotor
involvement.
CP and Language Disorders

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Damage may not be focal but diffuse,
resulting in not only motor speech problems
but cognitive and receptive problems
Changes in interaction with parents and
communication partners
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Child’s behaviour influences how parents interact
Less chance of normal imitation, expansion of
utterances by communication partners
No opportunities for practise and feedback
Assessment
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Follow same process as for all children but:
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Feeding and swallowing issues likely
Motor skills can make some assessment difficult
e.g. comprehension ‘point to….., verbal
expression tasks
Adapting Assessment Methods
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Be creative!
Could adapt standardised assessment tasks
but obviously no longer standardised
Make up own assessments e.g. use CR
procedures
Some checklists/rating scales exist for this
population
Intervention

Follow same process as for all children but:
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Swallowing and feeding intervention likely
Need to adapt tasks to allow for lack of motor
skills
May need to work on motor speech specifically
Consideration of augmentative or alternative
communication
Augmentative and Alternative
Communication (AAC)

Speech is always the best option
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Most universal form of communication
Most efficient
Access to greatest no. of comm. partners
Children not ‘lazy’
But for some speech just not an option….
When to consider AAC – R. Paul
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Can be too quick to go to alternative
modalities
Decision tree for choosing non speech
modes Fig 3-4
Developmental level of 18mths before
introducing any AAC
Impt for child to be showing some
communication intent (if not work on this)
What type of system?

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Will depend on cognitive level, motor skills
and communication partners
Look at all factors before deciding on a
system, don’t think of a system first.
Trialling essential
Be forward thinking
Hi-tech and Low-tech Systems
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
Low tech- communication charts,
communication books, symbols
Hi-tech - dedicated communication devices,
computers
Low Tech Examples
Hi Tech Examples
System Considerations
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Access
Portability/Size
Durability
Message Representation
Ease of Use
Support
Ability to add/change messages
Ongoing Role of SLT
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As for all children with speech and language
problems but also…
remember previous points about reduced interaction,
production, imitation and feedback
Ensure vocabulary meeting needs
Allow for language development
Adapt therapy tasks to accommodate physical skills
Develop literacy skills