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Language and Literacy Disorders: Infancy through Adolescence, 1st edition

  • Nickola W. Nelson

Published by Pearson (April 9th 2009) - Copyright © 2010

1st edition

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Organized with a clear framework and student-friendly learning supports, this textbook helps graduate and undergraduate students gain essential knowledge that can inform, and transform, their work with children who need special assistance to acquire language and literacy abilities to meet multiple communication and learning needs.


Featuring content and questions that encourage deeper thinking about the nature of disordered and normal development, this text makes assessment and intervention practices relevant to contexts of home, classroom, and peer interactions. In particular, readers will learn to draw on multiple sources of input to develop an assessment picture for a child at any age and stage of development as a person with unique strengths and needs, coming from a particular cultural-linguistic background, and with concerns that may be attributed to a particular known or unknown but suspected set of etiological factors. Additionally, readers will learn to plan interventions that target developmentally appropriate outcomes in spoken and written language and to apply techniques that are informed by varied theoretical perspectives and a growing evidence base.


This text is organized into three sections that are designed to promote understanding of: (1) basic concepts, taxonomies, policies, and procedures that can inform other decisions; (2) implications of common etiologies (e.g., primary language impairment/learning disability, hearing impairment, autism spectrum disorders, mental retardation/cognitive impairment; acquired neurological impairment) for modifying assessment and intervention practices; and (3) appropriate assessment and intervention procedures across developmental language and literacy ages, stages, and targets. Instructors can guide students through the sections and chapters, review and practice material, and extended exercises, so students can gain confidence they will know what to do when facing diverse populations of real children in a variety of settings.


Although the book is written primarily for students in speech-language pathology, it draws on the author’s experience working in schools and classrooms with general and special education teachers and other interdisciplinary team members and can be used with (or by) members of other disciplines and by practitioners as well as students. The ultimate beneficiaries of this book should be children and adolescents who grow up with improved abilities to communicate, read, write, listen, and speak because they received services from professionals who knew what they were doing and why.

Table of contents



Frontmatter    Dedication page


                        Table of contents      




Chapter 1.       A Framework for Guiding Evidence Based Practice

                        Importance of asking good questions

                        Contextualized assessment and intervention

                        World Health Organization definitions


Chapter 2.       Speech, Language/Literacy, and Communication

                        Speech, language (including literacy), and communication

                        Five language parameters

                        Content, form, and use

                        Language levels and modalities

                        Cultural-linguistic variation


Chapter 3.       Language/Literacy and Related Systems

                        Theoretical accounts

                        System theory

                        Systems supporting language development




Chapter 4.       Policies and Practices


                        Clinical practices

                        Categorization, diagnosis, and causation

                        Testing and exclusionary factors in diagnosis

                        Prevalence, prevention, and prognosis


Chapter 5.       Primary Disorders of Speech, Language, and Literacy

                        Speech-sound disorders

                        Language impairment

                        Learning disability

                        Spoken and written language associations and dissociations



Chapter 6.       Special Populations with Motor and Sensory Disorders

                        Motor system impairment

                        Auditory system impairment

                        Visual system impairment

                        Other sensory problems




Chapter 7.       Special Populations with Cognitive-Communicative Disorders

                        Developmental disability

                        Intellectual disability

                        Autism spectrum disorders

                        Acquired brain injury (including traumatic brain injury)

                        Child abuse and neglect

                        Interactive disorders of attention, emotion, and behavior           




Chapter 8.       Infant/Toddler Policies and Practices

                        Policies and practices for infants and toddlers

                        Comprehensive assessment for infants and toddlers


Chapter 9.       Infant/Toddler Intervention

                        Prelinguistic organization to intentional communication

                        Joint action routines and early play

                        First words to two-word utterances

                        Emergent narratives and literacy


Chapter 10.     Preschool Policies and Practices

                        Policies and practices in the preschool years

                        Comprehensive assessment in the preschool years


Chapter 11.     Preschool Intervention

                        Sounds, words, and vocabulary concepts

                        Sentence- and discourse level development

                        Social interaction and play

                        Emergent and early literacy


Chapter 12.     School-age Policies and Practices

                        Policies and practices in the school-age years

                        Comprehensive assessment in the school-age years


Chapter 13.     School-age Intervention

                        Intervention scaffolding in the school-age years

                        Discourse-level knowledge and skills

                        Sentence-level knowledge and skills

                        Word-level knowledge and skills


Chapter 14.     Interventions for Special Populations

                        Comprehensive planning for comprehensive needs

                        Preverbal to intentional communication

                        Echolalia, challenging behaviors, and non-symbolic communication

                        Intervention for children and adolescents with severe speech-production disorders

                        AAC for children and adolescents with complex communication needs

                        Intervention for sensory loss and central processing disorders

                        Intervention for cognitive-communicative disorders

                        Intervention for autism spectrum disorders


Backmatter:   Appendices for Part III.


Author Index (to be completed by Allyn & Bacon)

Subject Index (to be completed by Allyn & Bacon)


On line supports:        Glossary

Review and practice questions and key

                                    Observation tables


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