Children and young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities: Evidence of intelligible subvocal language

Date

2023-11-09

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

0891-4222

Volume Title

Publisher

Elsevier

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Introduction Literature to date describes people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) as pre-linguistic. In contrast, this study explores the existence and use of meaningful sub vocal (SV) language by twenty PMLD participants.

Method The SV utterances of 20 PMLD participants were recorded and amplified. Recordings were investigated for evidence of language content and structure, listener intelligibility, and acoustic and phonetic features relative to normal speech and whisper.

Results Language content and structure was identified. Listener intelligibility was demonstrated. Acoustic and phonetic features relative to normal speech and whisper were evident.

Conclusion Twenty PMLD participants produced meaningful SV language intelligible to listeners. This study requires further robust research to fully confirm its findings but highlights implications for clinical practice and for understanding of PMLD communication competencies.

This paper is accompanied by audio samples and transcriptions of recorded utterances to demonstrate the SV language produced by the participants. The quality of the samples varies due to the difficulties in recording SV utterances and the difficulties for participants in articulating clearly. This is not normal speech, but it is normal language. The listener may need to replay samples where the quality of the recording is poor.

Description

open access article

Keywords

Citation

Woods, R.H. et al. (2023) Children and young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities: Evidence of intelligible subvocal language. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 143, 104633

Rights

Research Institute