Establishing diagnostic criteria: the role of clinical pragmatics

Cummings, L., 2012. Establishing diagnostic criteria: the role of clinical pragmatics. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics, 8 (1), pp. 61-84. ISSN 1895-6106


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The study of pragmatic disorders is of interest to speech-language pathologists who have a professional responsibility to assess and treat communication impairments. However, these disorders, it will be argued in this paper, have a significance beyond the clinical management of clients with communication impairments. Specifically, pragmatic disorders can now make a contribution to the diagnosis of a range of clinical conditions in which communication is adversely affected. These conditions include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the autistic spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and the dementias. Pragmatic disorders are already among the criteria used to diagnose some of these conditions (e.g. ADHD), although they are not described in these terms. In other conditions (e.g. the dementias), pragmatic disorders have potential diagnostic value in the absence of reliable biomarkers markers of these conditions and similar initial presenting symptoms. Using clinical data, and the findings of empirical studies, the case is made for the inclusion and/or greater integration of pragmatic disorders in the formal classificatory systems that are used to diagnose a range of disorders. A previously unrecognised role for pragmatic impairments in the nosology and diagnosis of clinical disorders is thereby established.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Lodz Papers in Pragmatics
Creators: Cummings, L.
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Place of Publication: Berlin
Date: 2012
Volume: 8
Number: 1
ISSN: 1895-6106
Rights: Copyright © Walter de Gruyter GmbH.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:54
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2016 09:12

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