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Reviews Mother-Infant Communication and Language Acquisition in Deaf Infants, Jules Greenstein, Beth Greenstein, Kathleen McCorville, and Luisa Stellini, 62 pp., Lexington School for the Deaf, 30th Avenue and 75th Street, Jackson Heights, N.Y. 11370, no date given. Thirty deaf children admitted to the Infant Center of the Lexington School for the Deaf before the age of 24 months were studied longitudinally to age 40 months. The children were divided into two groups, 20 children who were enrolled prior to 16 months (Early Admission) and 10 children who were enrolled at 16-24 months of age (Late Admission). The Early Admission was further categorized into those children with deaf parents (n = 11) and those with hearing parents (n =9). No children with deaf parents were in the Late Admission group. Children in the Early Admission group were found to have greater language proficiency throughout the testing program. Results suggested that affective aspects of communication are closely associated with growth of language skills. The integrated audio-vocal and visual-motor components of human communication were indicated by the finding that ". . . . the more distal behaviors of looking (and possibly vocalizing and gesturing) are associated with greater competence" (p. 22). In other words, eye contact, visual attending behavior , gestures, and vocalization all are correlated with language skills. In the analysis, both American signs and natural gestures were included under the category "Gesturing." Deaf mothers "gestured" more than hearing mothers. The extent to which signs contributed to this category is not reported. It is interesting to note that for hearing parents, those in the Early Admission group "gestured" more than those in the Late Admission group. The study represents a major effort. Its principal weakness is an unfortunate lack of clarity and detail. Techniques employed in the Infant Center program are not described, and selection procedures for the study are not elaborated. For example, does the group of 30 children represent the total number of children enrolled prior to 24 months of age? If not, how were children selected? More than 50% (11 of 20) of the children in the Early Admissions group had deaf parents, a startling figure, given the relatively low proportion of deaf children of deaf parents in most programs. An explanation for this should be provided. There is an unsettling issue which should be addressed. The authors conclude that the very early intervention program was effective because of the superiority of the Early Admittance group on all aspects of language. However, the scores of the children at 36 months on the Receptive-Expressive Emergent Language (REEL) Scale were below 21 months for the Early Admittance group (20.73 for those with deaf parents and 20.48 for those with hearing parents) and 16 months for the Late Admission group. The Early Admission group at 36 months scored more than 15 months below the norms for children with normal hearing. These scores provide no justification for any sense of satisfaction. Donald F. Moores, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. 55455 Measurement Procedures in Speech, Hearing, and Language, Sadanand Singh, Ph.D. (Ed.), 470 pp., $18 50, University Park Press, Chamber of Commerce Building, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, 1975. This text is divided into three sections, purportedly according to subject; Language, Perception-Audition, Production-Acoustics. It might better have been divided into two separate volumes; one composed of those chapters covering an extensive survey of various measurement techniques with research and clinical perspectives, and one composed of those chapters dealing only with a particular author's research work. Do not be misled by the title; this is not a "how to" book. Do not be misled by the chapter headings; this is not a "comprehensive treatise" on studies of human communication. The chapters that offer a review of the literature, research methods, and practical applications appear in sharp contrast to the journal-style articles reporting a single individual's experiments. This is not a general reference text; the subject presentation and emphasis is too uneven. There is no continuity of form, and one wonders what the author's criteria for inclusion was. Of special note, however, are the following chapters that stand out as excellent resource material for the hearing and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
p. 521
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-22
Open Access
No
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