1.  Language and Students with E/BD

Laura A. Getty, CCC-SLP

2.  What we know….

nVery little research on students with E/BD and language


nStudents with E/BD appear to have communication difficulties such as…..


nCollaborative approach between teachers and SLP could help students with E/BD


3.  What we want to know….

nDo students with E/BD have tend to have communication problems?


nIs so, what type of communication problems?


nWhen, how, and where do we diagnose and treat those areas of concern?

4.  Review….









nChildren with E/BD exhibit language problems

nPragmatic in nature

nUnderstanding the purposes of communication

nEstablishing and maintaining topics

nType of information to be shared

nHow much information is shared

nWho, what, where, when, why


n   Result of poor pragmatics….


n   Social interactions

n   Initiate relationships

n   Develop relationships

n   Maintain relationships


7.  What the research says…


n   Gallagher (1999) –aggressive children used less verbal communication and more physical actions


n   Fujiki, Brinton, Morgan & Hart (1999)-children with non-compliance tendencies may have receptive language deficits that limit ability to comply



n   Ruhl, Hughes, and Camarata (1992)--reported children misinterpret communication, become frustrated, and develop antisocial behavior


n   Rogers-Adkinson (2003)

n   --reported children with ED/LA have difficulty with abstract language

n   language processing in children with ED contributes to language delays


n   Benner, Nelson, and Epstein (2002) found …


n   71% of children with E/BD had significant language deficits


n   71% had pragmatic problems

n   64% had expressive difficulties

n   56% had receptive deficits


n   Benner, Nelson, and Epstein (2002) noted the following of students with E/BD after a review of the literature


n   1.  Students with language deficits (especially comprehension problems) had a higher risk for antisocial behavior.


n   Children with E/BD tended to have high comorbidity rates of antisocial behavior and language deficits.



n   2.  Students with receptive language deficits have higher rates of behavior problems than do children with expressive language deficits.


n   Children with E/BD in public schools (9 out of 10) have higher rates of receptive and expressive language disorders


§   as compared to…


n   2 out of 3 children with E/BD in clinical settings experienced language deficits



n    3. An estimate of concomitant language deficits in children with E/BD is 10 times greater than the general population


n   ..although we don’t know the strength of the relationship

n   Children with language deficits may have underlying cognitive processing delays (Torgeson, 1998)

§    Memory
§    Attention
§    Visual perception
§    Auditory comprehension
§    …All of which precede language development



n   4.  Language disorders appear to have a devastating effect on interpersonal relationships.

n   Language performance tasks are based on five basic components

§   phonologic
§   morphologic
§   syntactic
§   semantic
§   pragmatic

n   All are affected by reciprocal interaction--find breakdowns early-->prescribe interventions


n    5. Question of external validity

n   There was limited information known about the participants in the study.


n   Ethnicity?

n   SES?

n   Most children in the studies received services in speech clinics, psychiatric facilities, and residential treatment facilities (n=2,358)


n    Implications of Benner et al. review …


n   language deficits may contribute to problematic interactions and academic failure


n   children should be screened for language deficits


n   early interventions and support programs for students with E/BD should address language


n   need to take a proactive/preventative approach



n    Tends to be a relationship between children with E/BD and language difficulties

n    (prevalence rates = 20%-65%)


n    Cantwell and Baker (1991) found comorbidity between language deficits and E/BD increased over time.


n    Beichman, Cantwell, Forness, Kavale, & Kaufmann (1998)  found that comorbidity between language deficits and E/BD were stable over time and across the years.


17.  Comorbidity


n   Not certain of the nature

n   Not certain of the extent

n   Scores on language tests

n   Informal communication


n   Language difficulties may be masked

n   Language difficulties unidentified

18.  Where do we go from here?

nQuestion whether students with E/BD have language deficits


nObserve language difficulties--formally and informally

nDiscuss findings with other professionals

nDocument findings


nMake a referral



n   Work collaboratively……


n   Who?

n   How?

n   Where?

n   When?

20.  Interventions

n   Develop expressive language skills


n   Develop receptive skills


n   Teach pragmatics

21.  Questions

n   Questions or comments?