Symbolic Play of Children With Language Impairment A Critical Review Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1997
Symbolic Play of Children With Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael W. Casby
    Audiology and Speech Sciences Michigan State University East Lansing
Article Information
Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1997
Symbolic Play of Children With Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1997, Vol. 40, 468-479. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4003.468
History: Received November 6, 1995 , Accepted September 30, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1997, Vol. 40, 468-479. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4003.468
History: Received November 6, 1995; Accepted September 30, 1996

There have been a number of studies that have reported on the symbolic play abilities of children assessed as demonstrating developmental language disorders or specific language impairment. In general, this research has reported significant differences in the symbolic play abilities of children with language impairment and those developing language normally. In most, though interestingly, not all cases, the differences reflected less developed symbolic play of the children with language impairments. It will be argued here that these reported differences should not be interpreted as demonstrative of marked deficits in the general representational or specific symbolic play competence of children with language impairments. It will be argued further that part of the research conducted to date on the symbolic play abilities of children with language impairment has been confounded by the encroachment of language into the research procedures, that the level of play often investigated has not been unquestionably symbolic in nature, and that the actual differences in symbolic play have not been substantial.

Acknowledgments
The author would like to acknowledge the extremely helpful comments made by the editor, associate editor, and their editorial consultants.
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