We would like to congratulate Sophie Hay on the completion of her MSc project titled, ‘Receptive vocabulary and early socio-cognitive skills in pre-school children’. Sophie received a well-deserved distinction! Very well done!
You may recall that we were undertaking an MSc research project investigating LEGO® -Based Therapy for supporting language skills. The project is now complete and we would like to share our results!
LEGO® -Based Therapy is an intervention that was originally designed to be used with children with autism to develop social competence skills. Our research project investigated adapting this intervention to be used with children with mild-moderate language impairment. In our clinical experience, a LEGO® -Based Therapy approach can be used with language impaired children to target a range of functional communication skills including, but not limited to: resolving conflicts, problem solving, negotiation, organising and sequencing ideas, turn taking, communication initiation, formulation of questions, listening and communication repair skills. As an initial investigation our study selected only one particular aspect of functional communication to examine: repairing conversational breakdown through initiating clarification.
Lego Therapy MSc Project – Blog update
We are undertaking a Masters level research project at City University London. This project is a novel piece of research which looks at whether LEGO® Therapy can support children with language difficulties in repairing communication when it has broken down. Children with speech and language difficulties frequently experience communication breakdowns both in the classroom and in social settings. This may be that the child has not understood something or that the person they are speaking to has not understood him/her. Children who have a range of strategies to repair communication breakdowns are less likely to experience frustration and more likely to successfully clarify something they have not understood in the classroom.
LEGO® Therapy has historically been used with children on the Autistic Spectrum to develop social interaction skills. However, the nature of this therapy lends itself particularly well to developing a range of other language and communication skills, including developing communication repair strategies.
Check back later to find out the results of our research!
Caitlyn Chandler and Shelley Parkin
Accurately repeating a sentence can be hard for children with language difficulties… Is this task more complex than we first thought?
Many researchers have noted that children with language impairment have great difficulty accurately repeating a spoken sentence that they have heard. Why is this? What exactly is the child required to do during this task? These are the questions that I am looking to investigate in my Master’s research project. This type of repetition task is called sentence repetition or sentence recall. It turns out that this task doesn’t just rely on a child’s ability to remember the sentence, but it also draws on his/her memory for language that they have already learnt. A child cannot repeat a sentence accurately if they haven’t learnt and stored the language previously! This is a useful tool for identifying children with language difficulties, however, there are still unanswered questions about what exactly this task is testing. A greater understanding of this task could help with early identification of language difficulties and is a simple, cost-effective way of screening children for any difficulties. I will have to see what the results suggest… watch this space!
Speech and Language Therapist