Week 4: Preparation of Individual Experiences Assignment
1. Assignment Overview
People who share the same communication disorder label (e.g., fluency disorder, hearing impairment) can be vastly different in the types of challenges that they have, what kind of services they have received, and how the communication disorder impacts their lives. The purpose of this assignment is to summarize the personal experiences of one person with a communication disorder. You may choose from the following:
One disorder of speech, voice, resonance, swallowing, hearing, language, or cognitive-communication; OR
One disorder of speech, voice, resonance, swallowing, hearing, language, or cognitive-communicationdisease/condition that includes communication disorder(s) as a part of the disease/condition(e.g., ALS, Down Syndrome, laryngeal cancer, traumatic brain injury, etc.).
You will note that your assignment instructions direct you to pay attention to four elements and to ensure that you describe them:
Communication-related features of the disorder (speech, language, voice, swallowing, and/or hearing);
If choosing #2 from the above list, ensure that you focus on the communication-related features primarily. You will of course mention that your chosen disorder involves more than a communication impairment, but that this is not the focus of your paper.
Suspected or known causes (aetiology);
If the aetiology is unknown, it should be mentioned.
Communication-based (i.e., SLP/audiology) assessments and interventions; and
I.e., do not focus on non-CSD interventions for disorders described in #2 above.
Impact of the disorder on the quality of life of the person living with the said disorder (activities of daily living, psychosocial and emotional well-being, etc.).
Based on the communication disorder/individual case, amount of details available for each of four elements will vary, but efforts should be made to address each element to some extent
2. Gathering Content
Your first step is to find an individual living with a relevant disorder.Here is a more comprehensive (but not exhaustive) list of what is acceptable, with examples:
From #1 above:
Speech sound disorders
articulation disorder, lisp
Motor speech disorders
dysarthria, apraxia of speech
dysphonia, aphonia, spasmodic dysphonia
feeding disorder, dysphagia
Language difficulties,disorders, or language-based learning disability
dyslexia, aphasia (any type)
conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, presbycusis, auditory processing disorder, auditory neuropathy, tinnitus
From #2 above (If the person has one of these diseases, the person should have at least one of the communication disorders listed immediately above)
Cleft lip and/or palate
ALS, Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy
Vocal nodules, vocal polyps, vocal fold paralysis
Laryngeal cancer, laryngectomy, glossectomy
Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, other genetic syndromes
Global developmental disability, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, selective mutism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Traumatic brain injury
Acoustic neuroma, Meniere’s disease
Laryngeal cancer, laryngectomy, glossectomy
If you find something that does not fit within the above list, please feel free to contact me to see if it is appropriate. You have the following options regarding your source of information:
Option A: interview one individual with a communication disorder and/or their significant other(s). As we are social beings, it is important to get the “bigger picture” as these individuals typically do not live in social isolation (pandemic issues notwithstanding).
The person with the communication disorder:
Can be you (yes, you can talk about your own communication disorder),
Can be your relative, friend, colleague, classmate, etc.,
Can be someone referred to you by your friends, family, etc. (e.g., try to reach out via social media if necessary).
Other suitable interviewees:
Can be you (if you happen to know the person with the communication disorder),
Family members, friends, cliniciansof the person with the communication disorder.
You are not required to disclose any identifying information. Please ensure that you have permission from the person and note their preference when it comes to confidentiality. You can interview multiple people from the above lists, but make sure your interview is only about the person living with the disorder.
Option B: published media (e.g., book, film, blog, etc.) about one individual with a communication disorder:
Autobiographical/biographical account (i.e., a TRUE, non-fiction report);
Make sure the resource provides you with the type of information about the individual (i.e., communication-related details) necessary for meeting the case content requirements;
Not all books/films/blogs about people with communication disorders will provide sufficient information for all four of the elements that need to be covered in the summary
You can use multiple sources (e.g., news articles, books, TV episodes) as long as all of the sources provide information about the same individual.
Your next step is to gather detailed information about the person. A face-to-face interview is ideal, though other alternative or supplementary methods can include teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or email. As we know, there is more to communication than what is said and/or written. Please ensure that you are following all relevant pandemic-related safety precautions. The safety of all individuals is paramount. Begin with an open-ended question asking the person to tell you about their communication disorder and their experience of it.When and where appropriate, add in questions targeting the four elements required for the summary.If there is no opportunity to ask your targeted questions while the person is telling their story, ask them at the end of the interview. You should allow them to tell their own story in their own words first. Here are some sample questions to consider:
What are some of the problems with communication (speech, language, voice, hearing and/or swallowing) that you experience (now or in the past)?
What caused the communication disorder? If the cause isnt known, do you have any ideas about possible causes?
Did a speech-language pathologist or audiologist ever complete any testing or assessments with you? If so, what types of tests or activities do you recall being completed?
Has any equipment been prescribed by a speech-language pathologist or audiologist? If so, what types?
Has any therapy been given by a speech-language pathologist, audiologist or communication disorders assistant? If so, what types of activities were involved in the therapy? How often?
How have the communication problems impacted your life, for example, in areas such as personal care, independence, emotional well-being, relationships, recreation, schooling, employment, etc.?
If incorporating additional information about the assessment and/or treatment, ensure that you use sources of the highest available quality. Here are some helpful tips:
Use reputable scientific sources
Members of the scientific community
Peer review is a helpful way to ensure the reliability of the information
Most journals and edited books are peer-reviewed
If a book is not peer-reviewed, look for authorship by recognized experts in the field (those who also publish frequently in peer-reviewed journals)
Some journal articles may be too specific/detailed
Journal articles that are review articles (summary of the scientific literature) are an excellent resource because they can provide an overview that has been peer-reviewed
A word about websites
Wikipedia is not a primary source but could be used to identify references to get (e.g., Wikipedia entry on autism)
Just because a website presents information as scientific doesnt mean it is (e.g., Battle Autism with Bentonite Clay is not a reputable source)
Not usually peer-reviewed but usually (ideally) written by a recognized expert
Where can I find reputable sources?
Online via Western Libraries
Databases/Bibliographic indexes (next slide)
Websites from reputable organizations
Bibliographic indices (examples)
Web of Science (via Web of Information)
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL)
Linguistic, Language, and Behavior Abstracts
Combined Health Information Database (CHID)
Searching bibliographic indices
Some helpful Western resources:
Make sure to include alternate terms
Boolean strings can be helpful
*, AND, OR, , ()
e.g., language AND (impair* or disorder* or disabil*)
articulat* OR speech
Eg., speech-language pathology, speech pathology, speech therapy
E.g., language disorder, developmental language disorder, language delay, language difficulty, impairment
CSD Journals (not an exhaustive list)
Journal of Communication Disorders
International Journal of Communication Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research
Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
International Journal of Audiology
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology
American Journal of Audiology
Other online resource examples (all available via Western Libraries)
Acoustics for Audiologists (ebook)
MIT Encyclopedia of Communication Disorders (ebook)
Concise Encyclopedia of Language Pathology (ebook)
CANSIM (Statistics Canada’s key socioeconomic and census databases)
3. Preparing the Assignment
Microsoft Word format (.doc, .docx)
Student paper, abstract not required
Between 800 and 1000 words (excluding title page, reference list, and any appendices, if included)
Paraphrasing is preferred in most cases
What are citations and why do we cite?
Full acknowledgement and disclosure of ideas and information that belong to someone else (i.e., not you)
What specific piece(s) of information belong to another source?
We must credit the authors
Who is the source?
We must show where this information comes from
Where can others find the source?
We must ensure that our readers can follow up on these materials
Identifying your individual and from where you sourced them
Introduce by a real name (in case of book/film/blog) or pseudonym (in case of an interview)
E.g., Joe Smith* (*not his real name)
Identify the source of individual case
For an interview, identify all people interviewed and their relationship to the person (where applicable), using pseudonyms for all
You may skip the APA requirements for repeated in-text citations of your individual/source (and in no other case)
Give source/citation at first mention in-text
Book example: (Jezer, 2003)
Interview example: (Joe Smith, personal communication, September 29, 2017)
Subsequently, just refer to the person by name/pseudonym (e.g., Bob or Mr. Smith) without any APA citation
Provide full APA reference in the reference list for books/films/online sources (not required for interviews)
Important “Dos and Don’ts”
You do not need to cite
Your own ideas
Every single source of the idea
If there are many sources of the same piece of information/idea, 1-2 key references are fine
Do not imply you read a book/article you did not, i.e., dont borrow citations from other authors
Do go to original source
Do acknowledge use of secondary source (if going to original source not possible)
as cited by XYZ (identify that you have not been able to get the source)
e.g., when the journal or book is not available through Western libraries and/or is really old
Example of Secondary Sourcing
This is what a Turnitin report can look like. ACN not available at Western or via the internet; just for purchase from organization. The author cited ACN as if they had read it but there isnowhere to get it at Western, so the person probably did not read it. You would need to cite the original sourceas well as the secondary source that cites it.
In selecting references, do not
Use old, out-of-date works
Use newer, better research when it is available
Rely on poor/weak sources
Use solid, reliable sources
Use websites only with extreme caution
Excessively rely on one or two sources
Overly rely on websites and books
Use peer-reviewed work wherever possible
Citation Error Examples
Lack of Quotations
The student cited the sources but copied word for word so it comes up as plagiarized in Turnitin.
The student did some paraphrasing but did not changeenough.
Only list references you have cited in text
Do not list resources you used for background reading but do not cite in text
All papers must be submitted online via the Assignments tab in OWL. Email submissions are not acceptable. In the case of technical issues with OWL, you may email me your submission file as proof of timely submission. However, you will still need to submit via OWL. The timely emailed submission will be compared to the late OWL submission and no late penalty will be assessed providing that nothing has been changed (do not fix any errors you notice if this is the case – if you do, then a late penalty will be added).
Deadline: October 15th by 23:55 ET
Late submissions without accommodation are acceptedup to 5 days past the deadline
10% deduction for every 24 hours late, unless there are official accommodations (must use SRA or a request from academic counseling)
Tips for top marks:
Review all available instructions
Have someone else proofread your summary for clarity of expression and formatting
This person does not need to have any knowledge about CSD or the disorder to do this
Make sure you focus on communication disorder aspects (speech, language, hearing, voice, swallowing) of the disorder and the individual case
Discuss features/symptoms from a communication perspective; SLP/Audiology assessment/diagnosis, SLP/Audiology treatment; how communication symptoms impact quality of life
Evaluate your submission against the grading rubric
Review writing resources and guides
Contact a TA (or me) for additional guidance, if necessary
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