Research has shown that speech and language skills are often severely delayed in children with disabilities such as Down's Syndrome or autism. In order to stimulate these skills, it is essential that regular speech therapy is provided from an early age.
This practical guide offers parents, and other carers, a week-by-week programme that encourages language acquisition, and aims to teach the child to use the type of language and communication that is appropriate in differing situations. Professor Irene Johansson's early intervention programmes are widely practised in Sweden, and are based on the belief that language and communication develop as an integral part of the child's overall development, and are therefore important for the development of other abilities.
The first two chapters of the book provide a theoretical background to early language intervention, and a summary of the research undertaken in order to develop the programme. This is followed by a step-by-step guide, which is divided into twelve sections, each section containing four weekly programmes. Every week, a new activity is built into the routine between child and parent, such as repeating different rhythms of syllables, encouraging the child to identify a sound source, teaching the child to take and give different objects, and helping them to use and understand simple language and gestures. The book has been written in a straightforward, jargon-free style and is accompanied by illustrations, making it accessible to both parents and professionals.
Irene Johansson is Professor at the Department of Linguistics, Umea University. Eva Thomas is a Speech and Language Therapist, Eastbourne Health Authority
Theoretical Background to Early Language Intervention 1. Training Towards Performative Communication. 1.1 Interaction 1.2 Vision 1.3 Listening 1.4 Motor Skills 1.5 Play 1.6 Imitation 2. Data Covering the Development of the Children Taking Part in the Project Early Language Intervention in Children with Down's Syndrome. Practical Advice and Activities. Activities (1-12). References.