Amparo Ygual Fernández
University of Valencia, Spain

Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Language and Learning Disabilities. 

Participants: Carmen Berenguer Forner; Belén Roselló Miranda; Miriam Zarzo Benlloch; Laura Espinoza Pastén

Language is often a prominent symptom in neurodevelopmental disorders conditioning learning and academic performance. In this symposium we will analyse the relationship between language functioning and academic achievement in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) and Phonological Disorder (PD), disorders in which language is altered in different ways.

In reference to people with ASD, the association between the level of language (structure and pragmatics) and the severity of the disorder's symptomatology will be examined in depth. We will also analyse the influence of oral language, vocabulary and decoding skills on the reading comprehension of these students, considering other relevant variables such as personal dispositions towards learning.

Similarly, we will focus on children with FT who as a group present deficits related to learning to read, although not all of them always show the same characteristics in metalinguistic skills and learning difficulties. Production, but especially speech perception skills, will be analysed as effective risk indicators, as well as what weight they should have in intervention programmes.

Finally, we will look at difficulties in some mathematical sub-areas observed in children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). Comprehension language, verbal processing speed, grammatical skills and phonological processing may explain the mathematical performance of these children compared to their normotypical peers, as well as the heterogeneous performance within the same group with SLD.

Amparo Ygual Professor of the Department of Developmental Psychology and Education in the Faculty of Psychology and Speech Therapy at the University of Valencia. Psychologist and speech therapist, she has combined her teaching and research work with clinical speech therapy for more than twenty years. She is Vice-Dean of the Official College of Speech Therapists of the Valencian Community. She worked as a school psychologist in her early professional career.

Currently, she teaches mainly in the Speech Therapy Degree, postgraduate and doctorate, highlighting her contribution in master's degrees such as the Official University Master's Degree in Speech Therapy Intervention Specialisation at the University of Valencia, of which she has been the director since 2014. She has supervised doctoral theses, published articles in indexed journals, books and book chapters in national and international publishers and has made numerous contributions to conferences, invited papers and communications mainly in the field of language disorders and speech therapy intervention. She has been principal investigator in three competitive projects, two national and one international. In the field of research and knowledge transfer, she has authored or co-authored programmes and materials for speech therapy intervention, collaborating with some of the innovative companies in the introduction of new technologies in this field.



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