Advances in Early Communication and Language Intervention

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Learning to communicate using speech and language is a primary developmental task for young children. Delays in the acquisition of language are one of the earliest indicators of developmental deficits that may affect academic and social outcomes for individuals across the life span. In the period since the passage of PL 99-457, significant progress in research related to language intervention has been made in five areas: (a) the social, symbolic, and prelinguistic foundations to spoken language; (b) parent-implemented language interventions; (c) the language foundations for literacy; (d) the relationship between language and social behavior; and (e) the use of augmented and alternative modes of communication. Although there are indications of important advances in the knowledge base of early identification as well as comprehensive and continuous intervention, preparing professionals to provide effective interventions in natural environments continues to be a challenge for the field.

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