This book provides an up-to-date account of blind children's developing communicative abilities with particular emphasis on social cognition and language acquisition from infancy to early school age. It purports to foster dialogue between those interested in the study of typically developing children and those interested in the development of children who are blind and to provide insights and new explanations of why the development of blind children may differ from that of sighted children. The book also aims to identify and examine current theoretical issues which are likely to be at the centre of developments in the fields of child language and developmental psychology.
Language Development and Social Interaction in Blind Children is also a timely book. The study of blind children's development constitutes a unique opportunity to study the effect of vision on development, and more specifically on the development of language and certain aspects of social cognition. Current interest in the development of "theory of mind" and perspective taking in language learning, make the case of blind children crucial to our understanding of certain aspects of psychological functioning. The book explores these issues, challenges some widely-held beliefs about the development of communication in blind children, and provides a cohesive picture of our knowledge to date.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Study of Blind Children's Development. Motor and Cognitive Development. Social Interaction and the Beginning of Communication. Language Development in Blind Children. Parent-child Conversational Interaction with Blind Children. Ideas on Intervention with Blind Children.
'I was ... pleasantly relieved at the ease with which I read the book ... This is a thought provoking collection of essays bringing together a great deal of information. It is of immediate interest to those working with the visually impaired and blind but would also interest any professional working with a paediatric language impaired population.' - Rebecca Matthews, National Specialist College, Hampshire, in the RCSLT Bulletin 2000
'This is a very important book as it brings together for the first time a comprehensive review of the literature on the development of language in blind children, together with an impressive coverage of the empirical research. Somewhat provocatively, the authors challenge the assumptions and conclusions of some of the highly regarded early and previous researchers who have looked at language development (or aspects of it) in blind children and in so doing, force the reader to question assumptions about the development of language in sighted children as well.' - Alison Garton, (Health Department of Western Australia)
'Researchers, educators, parents, and early childhood specialists will find this book both helpful and enlightening.' - Sally Rogow, University of British Columbia, Contemporary Psychology