By: Elizabeth Turner
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Investigator and Professor of Hearing & Speech Sciences and Psychiatry Stephen Camarata, Ph.D., recently published a new book, titled Late-Talking Children: A Symptom or a Stage? through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.
From the publisher:
When children are late in hitting developmental milestones, parents worry. And no delay causes more parental anxiety than late talking, which is associated in many parents' minds with such serious conditions as autism and severe intellectual disability. In fact, as children's speech expert Stephen Camarata points out in this enlightening book, children are late in beginning to talk for a wide variety of reasons. For some children, late talking may be a symptom of other, more serious, problems; for many others, however, it may simply be a stage with no long-term complications. Camarata describes in accessible language what science knows about the characteristics and causes of late talking. He explains that today's greater awareness of autism, as well as the expanded definition of autism as a "spectrum" of symptoms, has increased the chances that a late-talking child will be diagnosed -- or misdiagnosed -- with autism. But, he reminds us, late talking is only one of a constellation of autism symptoms. Although all autistic children are late talkers, not all late-talking children are autistic.
Camarata's book has garnered positive reviews from medical journal editors, leading experts in the field, and parents who have experienced late-talking in their own children. "Among the many anguishes of parenthood is having a child who remains silent long past the age at which his or her age-mates are talking a blue streak. Their deep distress makes them easy prey for hucksters and quacks who are all too happy to multiply their anxiety with dire diagnoses and to sell them on expensive but worthless remedies. In Late-Talking Children, the world's expert on the syndrome offers good sense, humane advice, and the latest science to such parents -- while reminding his fellow scientists that it raises fascinating questions for our understanding of language, genetics, development, and the organization of the human brain," says Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works.
"As parents with developmental concerns about our children, we often are told we are the best experts on our own child," said Sue Swenson, a parent and former Commissioner for Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "This is especially true if we have good information at the start. For parents of late-talking children, including those with an autism diagnosis, this book is that. Camarata invites your critical thinking by providing a base of real knowledge."
More information on Late-Talking Children: A Symptom or a Stage? can be found on the book's Amazon listing here.
Last Updated: 9/17/2014 1:42:17 PM
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