Language skills of children with EBD: a literature review, by Gregory J Benner, J Ron Nelson, Michael H Epstein, Journal of Emotional and Behavioural Disorders, 2002.
- Approximately three quarters of children with identified emotional and behavioural difficulties have significant language deficits.
- Approximately half of those with language disorders have identifiable emotional and behavioural difficulties.
- The prevalence of language deficits in children who exhibit anti-social behaviours is ten times higher than in the general population.
- Rates vary according to the placement of the children, the stringency of the criteria for language disorder and the number of language measures used.
- Pure language deficits, especially those associated with comprehension difficulties, are at greatest risk.
- Thus EBD children with unsuspected receptive disorders were rated the most delinquent, the most depressed (by parents) and aggressive (by teachers) and had more severe challenging behaviour.
- Children with expressive language disorders were rated as more socially withdrawn and anxious.
- The strength of the association between language difficulties and antisocial behaviour increases with age.
- Difficulties in initiating and maintaining interpersonal relationships is a key mediating variable between language disorders and antisocial behaviours.
- “Language disorders appear to have a devastating effect on interpersonal relationships (ie peer, family, companion) throughout the lifespan.” (Benner, 2002)
(Summary by the Centre for Integrated Healthcare Research, 2006)
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