Day 2 :
University of New Hampshire, USA
Keynote: Fostering communication skills in individuals with severe disabilities through enhanced natural gestures: Research to practice
Time : 09:00-09:40
Stephen Calculator is a consulting Speech-Language Pathologist and Emeritus Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of New Hampshire, USA. Since earning his Doctorate in Communicative Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980, he has published and lectured extensively in the areas of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and inclusive services for individuals with severe disabilities, drawing upon his ongoing experiences as a consultant to numerous schools and other agencies in the USA and beyond. His greatest contributions have been devoted to enhancing our understanding of the role communication and assistive technology can play in fostering the participation of individuals with severe disabilities in their communities.
Individuals with severe disabilities, particularly those identified as Beginning Communicators, present special challenges to speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in terms of the severity and breadth of their communication challenges. This is related in part to the numerous factors (e.g., intellectual, communication, language, motor, sensory and behavioral) underlying these disabilities. Given the fact that many of these individuals are unable to use speech as a primary method of communication and various forms of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) become the method of choice. These often include combinations of aided (e.g., speech generating devices) and unaided (e.g., natural gestures and sign language) forms of communication. This presentation will focus on unaided methods of communication. More specifically, it will describe and then explore the efficacy of a system found to be useful in developing inventories of communicative behaviors, Enhanced Natural Gestures (ENGs). Unlike other unaided forms of communication such as natural gestures and sign language, ENGs are by their nature easily taught to individuals and readily understood by unfamiliar communication partners. They build upon behaviors individuals are already demonstrating in their interactions with objects and participation in events. This workshop will begin with a brief overview of enhanced natural gestures. It will then focus on the steps used to teach them. Two primary instructional methods, mand-model with time delay and molding-shaping will be described. The workshop will conclude with a review of recently published studies that have validated the efficacy of this approach. Implications for future research and practice will be described.
University of the Pacific, USA
Time : 09:40-10:20
Paul Fogle has been a Speech-Language Pathologist since 1971 specializing in Neurological Disorders in adults and children, stuttering and voice disorders. He is a Professor Emeritus and for 35 years taught courses on anatomy and physiology of speech, neurological disorders in adults and children, motor speech disorders, dysphagia/swallowing disorders, gerontology, cleft palate and oral-facial anomalies, voice disorders and counseling skills for speech-language pathologists. He has worked extensively in hospitals, including VA, university, acute, sub-acute and convalescent hospitals and has maintained a private practice since 1981. He has presented numerous seminars, workshops and short courses on a variety of topics at state, national and international conventions and conferences and all-day workshops in cities throughout the U.S. and in countries around the world. His primary publishing has been textbooks and clinical materials.
Mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) is a relatively new area of concern for many SLPs, although concussions have occurred in children and adolescents for as long as they have played sports, fallen out of trees or had other mild head injuries. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (2007) estimated that 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related mTBIs in children and adolescents occur each year in the U.S. Reports of youth concussions spiked by 71% between 2010 to 2015, according to a study of nearly 937,000 health insurance claims gathered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield. However, incidence and prevalence studies may significantly underestimate the actual numbers of boys and girls with concussions because many individuals suffering from mild or even moderate TBI to not seek medical services. This presentation will discuss several aspects of concussion, including the neuroanatomical effects (e.g., tearing, shearing and twisting of axons and dendrites and destruction of neurons); physical symptoms (e.g., being dazed and dizzy, headaches, nausea, drowsiness and sleep problems); cognitive effects (e.g., attention, memory, orientation, reasoning, judgment, problem solving and executive functions) and the behavioral, emotional and social effects (e.g., agitation, aggression, anger, low tolerance for frustration, emotional lability, egocentrism, disinhibition, impulsivity and decreased social skills). In addition, the risk factors, such as history of concussions and gender of the athlete will be discussed. The signs and symptoms of concussion observed by adults and those reported by children and adolescents will be presented. The role of speech-language pathologists working with concussed youth in both medical and school settings will be discussed. Intervention and management (particularly by school-based SLPs) will be an emphasis in this presentation.
Touro College, USA
Keynote: Toddler's working memory: toward an early identification of toddlers at risk for language disorders
Time : 10:20-11:00
France Weill is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Speech Language Pathology at Touro College, NY. She holds a professional license both in New Jersey and New York State. Previously, she has worked as a speech language pathologist in Israel for 5 years, established and directed a large college-based speech and language clinic, and maintained an active private practice in Jerusalem. Besides her academic work, she is currently running a private practice in Teaneck, NJ and serving as consultant in various French-American schools and programs. She is regularly running professional workshops related to language, play and cognition. Her research interests include the role of memory in language development of toddlers. She has extensive clinical and teaching experience in the areas of early language development, the role of cognition and metacognition in learning, play and language, Autism Spectrum Disorders, online education and implementation of EMR in professional training programs. She is fluent in French, English and Hebrew.
Introduction: The ability of children to learn new words at a very fast pace and with minimal exposure develops during their second year of life and depends on working memory and on existing word knowledge.
Aim: To identify toddlers at risk for language disorders.
Methods: Subjects for this study included 44 typically developing, monolingual English speaking toddlers ranging in age from 24 to 30 months. Children were recruited from local communities through recruitment fliers posted in daycare centers and businesses and through recruitment e-mails posted on local list serves. All subjects enrolled in the study were from New York City or from Bergen County, NJ.
Measure of Vocabulary Size: Vocabulary size was assessed through the Mac Arthur Communicative Development Index (MCDI), a parental questionnaire considered a valid and reliable instrument for measuring children’s language development. The MCDI examines many aspects of early language development: Use of gestures, play, acquisition of vocabulary and development of syntax and of sentences. It provides separate receptive and expressive language scores. However, in the context of this research, only the Expressive Vocabulary Checklist of the Toddler’s version of the MCDI (MCDI-T) was used for measuring vocabulary size. The MCDI-T is considered to give an accurate account of size of vocabulary, as reported by the parents.
Results: Nineteen (19) children provided a complete set of data for this study, ranging in age from 24 to 30 months (M=26.3, SD=1.8). Results showed a statistically significant moderate to strong correlation (r=0.71, p<0.01) between the phonological loop capacity and the size of productive vocabulary. Visual inspection suggested that no outlier was present in this sample.
Discussion: Our study showed that toddlers 24 to 30 months-old with a large phonological loop capacity tend to have a larger vocabulary than toddlers with a small phonological loop capacity. As the phonological loop mediates word learning and vocabulary development, our findings suggests that children with better verbal working memory are more efficient in remembering words they have never heard before. Our findings are further supported by the findings of Stockes (2009), who showed that the strongest predictor to vocabulary knowledge is phonological loop capacity in toddlers 24 to 30 months. Hoff, Core and Bridges (2008) bring a longitudinal perspective to our hypothesis by showing that phonological loop capacity and vocabulary development are closely related in 20 to 24 months old toddlers.