It has been pointed out that children with hearing impairment have a limited vocabulary, insufficient understanding of words and sentence structures, and errors in verbal expressions. To resolve these inferior language skills, we adopt sign and written language with auditory/oral language training from about the age of 1 year (Kanazawa Method). In this report we investigated the sentence acquisition process in ten severely hearing-impaired infants retrospectively. We refer to their words and sentences from notes kept by their mothers for language training. The following findings were presented: 1) At the age of 1 year and 5 months (median), they started to express pairs of words in sign language without using particles. 2) At the age of 2 years and 1 month (median), they expressed sentences involving particles in sign language for the first time, and this result was not so different from the first time in hearing peers of the same age. 3) The training designed to encourage children to use particles to link words using sign and finger spelling, conducted based on sentence expression without particles, helped their sentence expression develop and showed ability to learn sentence structures in infantile periods.
Eleven children with functional hearing loss (FHL) accompanied by inattention problem (4 boys, 7 girls, 7-15 years old) underwent intelligence analysis by WISC-III. Their Full Scale IQ mean score was low at 83.6, and 6 cases (54.6%) showed intelligence below the borderline area. The Verbal IQ average was 80.9 and the Performance IQ average was 89.9, indicating that a low Verbal IQ was particularly noticeable. The participants were classified into 4 groups according to their intelligence characteristics: "overall weak intelligence group," "overall weak intelligence and particularly weak verbal intelligence group," "weak freedom from distractibility (FD) group" and "normal intelligence group." Support was pursued for each group. The intellectual problems of FHL children with inattention problem were particularly serious in verbal and hearing recognition, and FHL was thought to be a disorder secondary to intellectual and developmental problems. For such children, comprehensive psychological support is desirable, including educational environment adjustment support depending on intellectual and developmental characteristics and psychotherapy for secondary psychogenic problems.
Recently several studies have shown that Japanese children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulty with tense, passives and case-markers. However, there have been few studies on the comprehensive characteristics of spontaneous speech in Japanese children with SLI. The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of errors in the utterances of Japanese children with SLI. The participants were 2 Japanese children with SLI (Child A, Child B). Both were 10 years old. The utterances of Child A and Child B in free conversation with their tutor were gathered and analyzed. Utterances were recorded once a week at each child's home. The range of recording time was from 15 to 30 minutes, and the total recording time was 289 minutes with Child A and 166 minutes with Child B. The 2 children's errors were classified into morphological/syntactic errors, lexical errors, discourse errors and creative errors. In both children, the percentage of morphological/syntactic errors was the highest, followed by that of creative errors. These results suggest that morphological/syntactic errors are major characteristics of spontaneous speech in Japanese children with SLI, and creative errors also appear to be characteristic as well.
Hormonal dysphonia, also known as androphonia, is a voice disorder induced mainly by medications containing virilizing agents, for example androgens and anabolic steroids. Voice therapy for hormonal dysphonia is said to be very difficult. We report on a 52-year-old woman treated for hormonal dysphonia. All of her vocal symptoms improved after 2 months of voice therapy: her speaking pitch level rose, her voice range expanded (at both lowest and highest ends), her feeling of dysphonia decreased, and her pitch control over her singing voice improved. Laryngeal observation indicated improved extension and contraction of the vocal cords in accordance with rises and declines in pitch. These findings suggest that voice therapy may be an effective treatment for hormonal dysphonia.
The purposes of the present study were the following: 1) to investigate the efficacy of articulation and phonological training for an autistic student with severe mental retardation at the secondary education level in a special school, and 2) to examine the efficacy of digital articulation training materials which we created and implemented as well as facilitation factors for using these materials. Results indicated effectiveness of articulation and phonological training for the subject even from the age of 15, i.e. there was found to be improvement in his speech intelligibility and an increase in spontaneous speech. Also, home practice of articulation and pronunciation came to be conducted easily, on a repeated basis, using the digital articulation training materials, and therefore the frequency of practice and attitude towards learning at home were improved. In addition, his articulation and pronunciation of syllables and words acquired by speech therapist's training were firmly established. From the above, the facilitation factors for using digital articulation training materials are thought to be as follows. 1) Contents of digital articulation training materials should be visual, easy to understand, and attract the subject's interest. 2) Home practice using digital articulation training materials should be started after speech therapist's training and after assessment of the state of development has been performed continuously and a certain degree of basic articulation movement has been acquired. 3) Adequate feedback should be provided concerning the subject's success-failure of articulation and pronunciation output and emotional response.
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