Understanding Alexithymia and Language Skills in Children: Implications for Assessment and Intervention Purpose This article reviews the construct of alexithymia and its relationship to language impairment. Method The article includes a review of the literature on emotional competence, trauma effects, alexithymia, and language impairment; summarizes tools to assess alexithymia; and provides an intervention framework. Implications Understanding the relationship ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   April 01, 2007
Understanding Alexithymia and Language Skills in Children: Implications for Assessment and Intervention
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ineke Way
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Paul Yelsma
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Adelia M. Van Meter
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Connie Black-Pond
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Contact author: Ineke Way, School of Social Work, 1903 W. Michigan Avenue, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5354. E-mail: ineke.way@wmich.edu
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   April 01, 2007
Understanding Alexithymia and Language Skills in Children: Implications for Assessment and Intervention
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2007, Vol. 38, 128-139. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/013)
History: Received October 7, 2005 , Revised June 3, 2006 , Accepted June 29, 2006
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2007, Vol. 38, 128-139. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/013)
History: Received October 7, 2005; Revised June 3, 2006; Accepted June 29, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

Purpose This article reviews the construct of alexithymia and its relationship to language impairment.

Method The article includes a review of the literature on emotional competence, trauma effects, alexithymia, and language impairment; summarizes tools to assess alexithymia; and provides an intervention framework.

Implications Understanding the relationship of emotional competence and language impairment may provide a new perspective for speech-language pathologists who are serving children with language and socioemotional impairments.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors wish to thank Dr. Nickola W. Nelson, Dr. Barbara Kiernan, Dr. Leslie Kimball Franck, and anonymous reviewers for feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript. The first, second, and fourth authors are members of a research team that is developing an instrument to measure alexithymia in children. The authors acknowledge the other research team members: Dr. Brooks Applegate, Ms. Xiaofan Cai, Ms. Rachel Clay Richmond, Dr. Yvette Hyter, Dr. Leslie Kimball Franck, and Ms. Mary Muliett. The Children’s Alexithymia Measure (CAM) research project is funded through a grant awarded to the Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center (Western Michigan University) as a part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative’s Collaborative Response to Traumatized Children, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (#5 U79 SM56207-02).
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