The purpose of this study was to clarify the characteristics of Kanji word reading among Japanese children with developmental dyslexia. We analyzed errors and examined the effects of lexical properties in reading aloud Kanji words in 37 developmental dyslexia cases and 991 children with normal development using the Screening Test of Reading and Writing for Japanese Primary School Children (STRAW). The results of the error analysis suggested that the dyslexic group showed significantly more word substitution errors and no responses than the normal group, while the incidence of legitimate alternative reading component errors was lower. In terms of effects of lexical properties, imageability effects on reading aloud both high- and low-familiarity printed Kanji words were evident in the dyslexic group. The dyslexic group in this study had deficits in both phonological and visual information processing, and the findings suggest that these characteristics of Kanji word reading result from the cognitive disability of this group. These findings would be useful information for diagnosing and developing a learning method for children with developmental dyslexia.
Vocal fold (VF) injection, thyroplasty type I and arytenoid adduction (AA) are common treatments for breathy dysphonia due to unilateral VF paralysis (UVFP). However, some patients do not recover their normal voices following these procedures. Theoretically, reinnervation of the thyroarytenoid (TA) muscle is the ideal treatment for UVFP. Normal voice production requires optimal closure of the glottis with median location of the VFs, symmetrical VF tension and mass, and supple mucosa. In the present study, we evaluated the long-term efficacy of AA combined ansa cervicalis-recurrent laryngeal nerve anastomosis (ACN-RLN) in the treatment of UVFP. Eight patients with severe paralytic dysphonia with large glottic gap were included. Vocal outcome was followed up over 24 months to evaluate the long-term efficacy of this combined procedure. Videostroboscopy, aerodynamic analysis, acoustic analysis, and perceptual voice quality were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months. All parameters improved significantly after surgery and continued to improve over the 24-month period. Treatment with AA+ACN-RLN provided near-normal vocal function in the 24-month follow-up. Therefore, this method could be a successful surgical treatment for severe paralytic dysphonia.
In the present study, an attempt was made to investigate the correlation between self-voicing and non-self-voicing, and environmental sound in professional voice abusers. For this purpose, we used a hearing aid with data logging system. Kindergarten teachers and childcare workers showed longer self-voicing time, accounting for over one-third of their 8-hour working time, than speech-language-hearing therapists, housekeepers and office workers. The highest average sound pressure of self-voicing was 85 dB in kindergarten teachers, followed by 75 dB in childcare workers. Non-self-voicing time accounted for about half of the working time in kindergarten teachers and childcare workers, and their average sound pressures were 85 dB and 75 dB, respectively. Moreover, there was a significant positive correlation between self-voicing pressure and non-self-voicing pressure, but not between self-voicing pressure and environmental sound pressure. These findings suggest that kindergarten teachers and childcare workers are professional voice abusers because they have to use high-pressured self-voicing for a long time against high-pressured voicing from children in mutual verbal communication.
Recently, it has been reported that people with autism might have deficits in the syntactic aspects of language. However, we have few studies focusing on the syntactic aspects of Japanese people with autism. The purpose of this study was to examine the syntactic knowledge of passives in Japanese autistic people with mental retardation. We compared the rates of correctness in comprehension of actives and passives in Japanese autistic people with mental retardation with those in normally developing Japanese children. The participants were 12 autistic people with mental retardation aged 13 to 23. The control group was 23 normally developing children aged from 3 to 6 matched to the autism group with respect to receptive vocabulary age. The stimulus sentences were eight actives and eight passives. A sentence-picture-matching task was used. The results were as follows. While the correct rate was 64.6% for actives and 34.4% for passives in the autism group, it was 82.6% for actives and 69.6% for passives in the control group. The correct rates for passives were significantly lower than those for actives in both groups. In addition, the correct rates for both actives and passives in the autism group were significantly lower than those in the control group. These results suggest that Japanese autistic people with mental retardation might have deficits in the syntactic aspects of their language.
This study examined the difference in causal inference development between deaf and hearing children (NH). The deaf group consisted of 21 second- and third-year students in a school for the deaf. The NH group included 61 3- to 6-year-olds. Both groups were asked about three causal inference topics (natural or phenomenon change, living/nonliving property). By analyzing the results in terms of domain knowledge and conceptual stage, the causal characteristic in the deaf group was examined. The results showed that development of a causal explanation was difficult in the order of phenomenon change, living/nonliving property, and natural phenomenon, and showed a tendency similar to the NH group (4- to 6-year-old level). The deaf group was subdivided into two groups based on individual results. In the excellent score group, both phenomenon change and living/nonliving property were good but natural change was lower. The low score group showed delay in living/nonliving property and natural change, especially in the conceptual stage. These results suggest that it may be effective for understanding of causal explanation development to evaluate three topics using two terms (domain knowledge, conceptual stage).
More than 40 percent of adults who stutter also present with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Patients who have SAD not only demonstrate anxiety toward talking with people but also exhibit great difficulty in their social life. We report a 16-year-old adolescent who refused to attend his high school classes for two months due to anxiety toward reading aloud. He took a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor but absented himself from classes involving reading aloud. We wrote a letter to the school and he underwent stuttering therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. He soon returned to his classes. People who suffer from stuttering accompanied by social anxiety disorder should not only take medication but also consult a speech language pathologist.
A 45-year-old female patient with muscle tension dysphonia (MTD) was treated by voice therapy with successful results. This case exhibited strained hoarseness in free conversation. Endoscopic laryngeal examination showed hyperadduction of the false vocal cords and anterior-to-posterior compression of the arytenoid cartilages toward the petiole of the epiglottis. We used the resonance tube method as voice therapy to relax the muscle tension of the vocal cords. We also added carryover exercises with short phrases and sentences. The results of vocal function examination after voice therapy showed improvement of MTD score, MPT, GRBAS scale etc. and also showed tendency toward higher respiratory pressure and MFR. Velopharyngeal function improved temporarily during phonation using the resonance tube, but did not improve noticeably after voice therapy. This case, with velopharyngeal inadequacy, was able to raise intraoral pressure because of the heightened respiratory pressure and temporary improvement of velopharyngeal function, which enabled her to learn the feeling of relaxing the muscle tension of the vocal cords with the resonance tube method.
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