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Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Specific language impairment - debate & forum

(8 Posts)
uggerthebugger Sat 23-Aug-14 16:41:59

There was a whole issue of the International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders devoted to SLI recently, mostly looking at whether SLI is an accurate and/or useful term to apply for children with unexplained language disorders.

The Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists have set up an online discussion forum for people interested in SLI - link is here -

The two main articles in the IJLCD issue can be accessed here:

1 - Bishop D (2014) “Ten questions about terminology for children with unexplained language problems” - link

2 - Reilly S et al (2014) “Specific language impairment: a convenient label for whom?” - link

and summary of the debate here

Fuck knows when I'll have the mental energy to read this and comment usefully on it, but I bet there's plenty of you who can..... smile

Schoolsoutforsummer Sat 23-Aug-14 21:58:55

Thanks ugger - looks fascinating so need to read first thing in the morning. Then, I suspect I will have a lot to say wink

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 26-Aug-14 14:19:02

Thanks ugger. Looks like my kinda thing...........when the hols are over!!

dolfrog Sat 06-Sep-14 03:10:18

The debate is about how various type of profession view, assess and diagnose the same issue.
Research in recent years has improved our understand of many issues, and how hamans have developed communication and langauge is one of the areas much improved understanding. But the problem has been new areas of research may not be dome in the field of the current professions and professionals who consider themselves to be the experts in that area.

So in the Case of Specific Langage Impairment (SLI), and other sound based langauge issues the established professions are linguists and speech and langauge pathologists. the new research is from audiology, and audiologist researching and understanding how the brain processes the sounds that the ears hear, or auditory processing.

And researc ho recent years including research cunducted by the Medical Research Council has indicated or suggested that SLI and Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) are the same issues but defined diagnosed by different professions. APD is a listening disability or having problem processing all sound which includes speech, and sound based langauge.

So this is about a move away recognising symptoms of medical issues as purely a learning disability, to more a life long medical / cognitve disability that has angauge and learning symptoms.

And there is the need for new types of professionals, such as audiologists to participate in the long term welfare of children and in the edcuction and healtrh support agencies etc.

You could have a look at some of the research collections on my Pub med Invisible Disability research paper collection web page, which list bot hand APD and an SLI collection of research papers

tempe48 Sat 06-Sep-14 14:21:35

I have not got time atm to look at all those papers. DD has a specific language disorder - arising I was told from a massive auditory processing disorder, which has knock on effects all through her psycholinguistic system.
This also causes a phonological processing disorder and dyslexia. There are incidentally information processing problems from all the senses.

Gillian Baird described these type of problems as one of bottom up processing - which makes sense, as while DD may have struggled to read the words in a story, once she had done, she got the gist of the story no problem.

What about the other type of language problem, whereby children can decode perfectly, but ask them what the story was about and they don't know; or they can repeat a whole conversation beautifully but again can't put the language together themselves to explain in their own words, what it meant? Often the ASD/PLI type children - which Gillian Baird described as having a problem with top down processing.

A friend of mine, a SLT considers ASD children have a socio-cognitive deficit, whereas the PLI children, who are not on the spectrum because they have communicative intent and want to make friends (but just don't have the skills to do it), have a linguistic deficit (in the area of pragmatics, I assume)

Do these children who have a top down processing problem, as Gillian Baird put it, really have an auditory processing disorder too - or is it due to something else?

dolfrog Tue 09-Sep-14 22:08:40

Hi Tempe48,

Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), is about the brain having problems processing what the ears hear. There are various forms of auditory processing disorders, different severities of each type, and more importantly each individual who may have and auditory processing disorder can have different alternative compensating skills and abilities to help work around their limitations.

All who have an APD will have problems processing sound based information, which includes sound based communication, speech, and any notation of sound based language, such as the written word which is the visual notation of speech. And this can cause problems with sound based langauge.

This is all part of cutting edge research as science begins to unravel and explain how we humans learn, and communicate. And you may have to take the time to read the research if you need to fully understand the issues faced by your DD.

Autism is a disconnect syndrome which has multiple underlying causes and it currently diagnosed by observed behavior, as opposed to a clinical performance assessment of sensory processing skills and abilities etc.

So put another way SLI, and PLI, and other language based disabilities including dyslexia can have an Auditory Processing Disorder as it underlying neurological cause, as they all depend on being able to process sound based input at the time of communication. Some who have APD may require time to process the meaning of waht they have just heard or may not process it at all.

You could have a look at the APDUK web site
and may be the Medical Research Councils Institute of Hearing Researches web site
There are no easy answers.

tempe48 Tue 09-Sep-14 22:58:20

I may look at it all one day. SLI used to be her main presenting SEN, and I spent years reading up on it, but now its severe epilepsy. I've spent the last 8 years learning about that. It was a steep learning curve.

She's in a specialist FE college; and I'm looking with her social worker at all the specialist epilepsy residential provision, as the next step.

jomaman Wed 10-Sep-14 16:44:54

thanks for the link - just marking my place as I am starting a course this year, hoping to find out more about all the various language probs that are affecting ds1.

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