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The link between communication skills and the development of emotional and behavioural problems in children - Essay Example

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Emotional and language development are linked, as language and communication skills are central to a human being. Logically, communication problems are related to emotional and behavioural difficulties. There are different theories about how emotional and communication difficulties develop typically and how they might be linked.
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The link between communication skills and the development of emotional and behavioural problems in children
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Download file to see previous pages Pragmatic language skills include behaviours such as conversational or other communicative turn-taking, making good use of gestures and maintaining eye contact. As well as these specific aspects of language and communication, children must be able to both express their thoughts (expressive language) and understand those of others (receptive language) in both social and learning situations. As for the term "communication disorders", it includes a wide variety of problems in language, speech, and hearing. Speech and language impairments include articulation problems, voice disorders, fluency problems (such as stuttering), aphasia (difficulty in using words, usually as a result of a brain injury), and delays in speech and/or language (Cohen, 2001, p.134-78).
As for the definitions of Emotional and Behavioral Disorder (EBD), there are several of them, but basically it refers to a condition in which behavioral or emotional responses of an individual are so different from his/her generally accepted, age appropriate, ethnic or cultural norms that they adversely affect performance in such areas as self care, social relationships, personal adjustment, academic progress, classroom behavior, or work adjustment (Forness and Knitzer, 1992, p.12-21).
In the first five years of life, the evolution of communication can be divided into three periods. The first period begins at birth when infants communicate through their cries, gazes, vocalizations and early gestures. These early communicative behaviours are not intentional, but set the stage for later intentional communication. In the second period, from six to 18 months, infants' communicative engagement with adults becomes intentional. A major turning point is the appearance of joint attention, which involves infants coordinating visual attention with that of another person regarding objects and events. In the third period, from 18 months onward, language overtakes action as children's primary means of learning and communication. For instance, preschoolers can engage in conversations about emotions that take into account another's affective state, can use language for self-control and have the capacity to negotiate verbally (Owens, Metz and Haas, 2000, p.14-19). There are various theories of language development, however, most of them stress the importance of interaction with a significant person who helps the infant express his or her needs and feelings: children will not learn to interact verbally if there is no one who is able to interact with them responsively. One of the theories, attachment theory, describes how a reciprocal relationship with a significant adult is important for emotional development: securely attached children use more complex language than maltreated children. It is important for both emotional and communication development (Cross, 2004, p.17-34).
An important question is brought up here: can disruptions in language development affect emotional development, and vice versa: can emotional problems cause language impairment On the one hand, there is good evidence to suggest that communication difficulties can lead on to emotional, behavioural and psychiatric problems. Difficulties in understanding language seems to be a high risk factor for the development of psychiatric problems, but expressive difficulties also seem to be responsible for behavioural ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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