Language Deprivation Syndrome
Course description: “Language deprivation syndrome” (LDS) is the name that American Deaf psychiatrist Sanjay Gulati has given to a recognizable constellation of social, emotional, intellectual and other consequences for deaf people when they grow up without adequate access to either spoken or signed communication. According to Gulati, structurally speaking, LDS is aberrant neurodevelopment. Functionally, it is an intellectual disability. The presence of this constellation of issues has long been noted in the Deaf mental health and rehabilitation literature, and several names for this condition have been offered dating back decades. Clinical experience is that LDS is a highly common form of co-morbidity seen, to varying degrees, in deaf persons served in mental health settings. It is a condition that confounds both assessment and treatment.
In this presentation, our current understanding of LDS will be discussed along with a history of attempts to understand define this condition. The presenter will discuss how awareness of LDS developed on the Deaf psychiatric unit he administered for 17 years. He will also discuss varying causes for language deprivation and dysfluency in deaf people, compare these with conditions that cause dysfluency in hearing people, review current socio-historical developments impacting language development in deaf children, and then some of the implications of LDS for service provision, including interpreting, with deaf people.
10 minutes: How the presenter discovered the topic of Language Deprivation Syndrome (LDS)
10 minutes: Westborough State Hospital Experience and Research related to LDS
10 minutes: Other research: The syndrome in search of a name
10 minutes: Sanjay Gulati’s research and conceptualization of LDS
20 minutes: Causes of language dysfluency in deaf and hearing people
10 minutes: Socio-historical changes impacting language development of deaf children
10 minutes: Cognitive, psychosocial and behavioral implications of LDS
10 minutes: Research questions: what we don’t yet know
Participants will be able to:
State the history and current conceptualization of the concept of “language deprivation syndrome” (LDS) as well as the relevant research questions to help us further clarify our understanding of this condition
Explain diverse causes of language dysfunction in some hearing and deaf people
Explain the cognitive, psychosocial and behavioral implications of severe language deprivation
Financial disclosure: The presenter receives royalties on any books sold and will be referencing some of his books in the presentation.
Nonfinancial disclosure: The presenter has a point of view regarding language development (the importance of sign language exposure) with deaf children that he believes is empirically based but also based on a lot of personal and professional experience, much of which he will be citing.