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Giving a Voice to Kids With Down Syndrome

 

Feb. 25, 2013 — Researchers from the University of Alberta are helping children with Down syndrome who stutter find their voice and speak with ease.

 

Stuttering is a common problem that affects almost half of all children with Down syndrome, yet despite the scope of the problem, little research exists about preferred treatment options — or even whether to treat at all. Researchers with the U of A’s Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR) point to a new case study that shows fluency shaping can indeed improve a child’s speech.


“People who stutter, whether they have a developmental delay or not, can do very well with treatment,” said study co-author Jessica Harasym, a speech-language pathologist and Elks clinician with ISTAR in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. “There is no difference between the way the child in our case study responded compared with other children and families we’ve worked with who don’t have Down syndrome.”

 

Read in Full:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130225122039.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feedutm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmind_brain%2Fchild_psychology+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Mind+%26+Brain+News+–+Child+Psychology%29

Birdsong & Child Speech

Linguistics And Biology Researchers Propose A New Theory On The Deep Roots Of Human Speech

 

Article Date: 25 Feb 2013 – 1:00 PST

 

“The sounds uttered by birds offer in several respects the nearest analogy to language,” Charles Darwin wrote in “The Descent of Man” (1871), while contemplating how humans learned to speak. Language, he speculated, might have had its origins in singing, which “might have given rise to words expressive of various complex emotions.” 

 

Now researchers from MIT, along with a scholar from the University of Tokyo, say that Darwin was on the right path. The balance of evidence, they believe, suggests that human language is a grafting of two communication forms found elsewhere in the animal kingdom: first, the elaborate songs of birds, and second, the more utilitarian, information-bearing types of expression seen in a diversity of other animals. 

 

“It’s this adventitious combination that triggered human language,” says Shigeru Miyagawa, a professor of linguistics in MIT’s Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, and co-author of a new paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. 

 

The idea builds upon Miyagawa’s conclusion, detailed in his previous work, that there are two “layers” in all human languages: an “expression” layer, which involves the changeable organization of sentences, and a “lexical” layer, which relates to the core content of a sentence. His conclusion is based on earlier work by linguists including Noam Chomsky, Kenneth Hale and Samuel Jay Keyser.

 

Read in Full:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/256773.php



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