Language Development and Assessment by Joan Reynell (auth.)

By Joan Reynell (auth.)

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These utterances may be found to consist of a number of well-learnt catch phrases, used appropriately enough, but at a 'situational'level. The sentences are slotted in to the appropriate daily situations, but are invariable in pattern. The sentences or phrases are usually a direct imitation of adult speech, learnt as a whole without assimilating the meaning. Although at first it may sound as though these children have relatively mature language, a closer examination reveals severe problems with semantics.

In the case of cerebral palsy, and other conditions where the cause is cerebral, there is likely to be some central language problem as well as the more obvious one of difficulty in speech production, so once again, a full assessment, especially of verbal comprehension is important. There is a need to know how much understanding a child has, even if he cannot produce any recognizable words. It may be that he will need to be taught an alternative system of verbal expression. Hearing difficulties This is so obviously a cause of language delay that it may seem redundant to mention it here.

2) He will pick up and use one or two of the objects appropriately and adaptively without extra clues. For example he may pick up the toothbrush, get it the right way round, and brush his teeth with it. These children 66 Assessment of the stages in prelanguage development may still need some consolidation at this stage, but can also be helped on to the next stage of easy symbols (see below). (3) If the stage of object recognition is really well established, and the child's understanding well beyond this, he may demonstrate some extension of the object's use such as brushing his mother's hair, or the examiner's hair; stirring with the spoon in the cup; picking up the telephone receiver and vocalizing jargon into it, or attempting to dial.

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