ERIC Number: EJ719690
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-1
Reference Count: 67
Assessment of Pragmatic Difficulties and Socioemotional Adjustment in Practice
Farmer, Marion; Oliver, Alice
International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, v40 n4 p403-429 Oct 2005
Background: In professional practice, psychologists and other professionals such as therapists and teachers receive referrals of many children who present with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties that are difficult to understand and assess. The problems of some of these children may stem from pragmatic difficulties in communication. This paper reports the results of a study on the use of checklists in professional practice to assist in the identification of these difficulties. Aims: (1) To ascertain whether two checklists, Bishop's (1998) Children's Communication Checklist and Goodman's (1997) Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, would discriminate between groups of children diagnosed as having autism, autistic spectrum disorder/Asperger's syndrome, pragmatic difficulties and children with other types of specific language impairment. (2) To investigate whether specific aspects of pragmatic difficulties can be identified as relating to difficulties in peer relationships. (3) To investigate whether ratings of pragmatic difficulties are related solely to difficulties in social relations or whether other aspects of socio-emotional adjustment are also affected. Methods & Procedures: The Children's Communication Checklist and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire were completed by the teachers and other professionals working with a sample of children (n = 38) with a range of types of communication difficulty and being educated in schools run by one English Local Education Authority. Outcomes & Results: Analyses of variance indicated that the scores for pragmatic competence and socio-emotional adjustment difficulties were useful in discriminating between groups of children with diagnoses of autism or autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger's syndrome, and other types of language impairment. No specific pragmatic correlates of social interactional difficulties were found, but ratings of hyperactivity were significantly correlated with pragmatic difficulties. Conclusions: The two checklists if used together provide useful information on the profiles of strengths and weaknesses of children with a range of communication and or emotional/behavioural difficulties. The use of both checklists in this study demonstrated the differential profiles of pragmatic competence and socio-emotional adjustment of children with different types of communication difficulty.
Descriptors: Pragmatics, Check Lists, Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Peer Relationship, Social Adjustment, Communication Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Emotional Adjustment, Test Validity, Hyperactivity, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)