A number of researchers have reported that many cognitive factors affect developmental dyslexia (Wolf, 2000; Uno, 2002; Awaya, 2003). Nevertheless, it has not yet been clarified which information processing contributes to the subjects’ attainment of reading or writing. This article reports the case of a Japanese developmentally dysgraphic child who showed normal intelligence (VIQ 110, PIQ 94, FIQ 103) but had deficits in writing Kanji and English. The case was a right-handed, 12-year-old boy. Cognitive tests revealed that in contrast to his normal ability with respect to phonological awareness, he had disability in terms of visual memory. The visual memory deficit is likely the cause of the Kanji writing disorder in this case, in agreement with reports by other researchers. Concerning the deficit in writing English, our findings suggest that in this case visual memory may be related to learning English writing in addition to Kanji writing, although phonemic awareness could not be measured.
We often experience profoundly hearing-impaired infants who show characteristic behaviors resembling symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as distraction, concentration difficulty and restlessness. As a result, in cases actually associated with ADHD, ADHD may be misdiagnosed and special support may not be practiced. Furthermore, no reports have been made concerning development of auditory function, language and characteristic behaviors in hearing-impaired infants with ADHD. In this study, we therefore followed development of auditory function, language and characteristic behaviors in a hearing-impaired infant suspected with ADHD between the ages of 3 and 6, and discussed his developmental problems in terms of auditory function, language and characteristic behaviors as compared with two profoundly hearing-impaired infants without ADHD (hearing-impaired only) of the same age. The results led to the following assessments. 1) After a set period of auditory and language training, characteristic behaviors of hyperactivity and inattention ease in hearing-impaired-only cases. 2) In ADHD suspected case, although characteristic behaviors of hyperactivity ease, characteristic behaviors of inattention and impulsivity are difficult to reduce. 3) Compared with hearing-impaired-only cases, acquisition of a visual communication mode such as lip reading, finger spelling or written words does not improve, speech perception ability develops very slowly, and acquisition of spoken words is delayed in ADHD suspected case.
This is a case report of a patient with acquired childhood aphasia (ACA). His speech was characterized by echolalia. We analyzed his linguistic characteristics and improvement using the Standard Language Test of Aphasia (SLTA), Picture Vocabulary Test (PVT) and other tools. We investigated the relationship between his linguistic characteristics and his brain-damaged area using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). The patient is a right-handed eight-year-old boy. He suffered from infection at the age of three years and 10 months. SPECT revealed reduced regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in his left temporal lobe. One year and 10 months after onset, SLTA was conducted. In contrast to high performance in repetition, his listening comprehension showed low performance. He spoke fluently, but had difficulty in naming orally. When he tried to name orally, word paraphasia appeared. These results suggest that his type of aphasia should be categorized as transcortical sensory aphasia. Two years and 10 months after onset, his performance in listening comprehension was improved. However, he still had difficulty with naming. His performance in repetition was also good. These events suggest that his type of aphasia was changing from transcortical sensory aphasia to amnesic aphasia. The remarkable linguistic changes, both quantitative and qualitative, observed in the one-year span from one year and 10 months until two years and 10 months after onset are characteristic of this case, because they are not usually observed in adult aphasia. His echolalia is thought to be characteristically different from repetition in typical language development.
The aim of this study was to clarify the brain regions activated during a working memory task using pseudo Kanji in four Japanese children with developmental dyslexia. The children had been diagnosed with developmental dyslexia based on the results of standardized achievement tests of reading and writing and tests of cognitive abilities. The study revealed that the dyslexia group exhibited activation in the left prefrontal cortex, left parieto-temporal area and left inferior temporal-to-fusiform area. These results suggest that cerebral dysfunction in children with developmental dyslexia likely results from the same biological disorder irrespective of the writing system —alphabet or Chinese characters (Kanji) — used by the individual dyslexic.
Speech and swallowing are sensori-motor functions that utilize the oral-pharyngeal cavities and the larynx, collectively called the aero-digestive tract (ADT). These functions are adaptive to changes in material and speaking and swallowing conditions. A review of the literature indicates that speech and swallowing disorders (i.e., dysarthria-dysphonia and dysphagia) often coexist due to underlying structural and/or neurological deficits of the ADT. It has been hypothesized that abnormal findings in one function would predict possible problems in the other function. Furthermore, rehabilitation training for speech disorders may benefit the recovery of swallowing dysfunction, and vice versa. To account for differential physiological needs (i.e., sustained and forceful for swallowing, and precise and fast for speech), “modified” training should be implemented. Each training method for speech and swallowing is presented in terms of original and modified methods, aims, target(s), and outcome measures. The principles of motor (re)learning and current conceptions of neural plasticity are included for the implementation of effective therapy programs.
Dysphagia patients typically also have some type of communication disorder: dysarthria, aphasia, dementia, impaired consciousness, etc. These communication disorders cause not only problems with respect to mutual understanding but also problems in terms of limits to the training method, increased risk and/or difficulty in securing training time for both dysphagia rehabilitation and communication rehabilitation. They also adversely affect the progress and goals of the dysphagia rehabilitation. In order to efficiently and effectively advance dysphagia rehabilitation and to achieve both dysphagia rehabilitation and communication rehabilitation, it is effective to make use of techniques and knowledge derived from our experience with communication rehabilitation and to apply the merits of a team approach. In this report, I collated the characteristics of dysphasics with communication disorders and indicated the main points and treatment precautions for the speech-language-hearing therapist in order to cope in clinical settings.
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