Maltreatment itself constitutes a risk for language disorders

“language development is particularly vulnerable because of the disruption in social interaction it [abuse] entails”

“attachment has been significantly related to language development”

(Coster & Cicchetti, 1993))


“Coregulation emerges from nonverbal and preverbal communication in both human and nonhuman species; it can be distinguished from simple synchrony, matching or attunement because it is defined by the same patterns of emergent novelty and mutual creativity that have been recognized in dialogical and narrative approaches to interpersonal communications.”

“The infant self being essentially dynamic and relational, we can observe relational narratives arising from self-other dialectics from the very beginning of parent/infant relationships.”

New approaches to the study of Mother-Infant Interactions:  A case of Child abuse

By Maria Luisa Genta


“In an article on knowledge and skills from the Health Sciences Department of La Trobe University in Australia, it is said that there are around ten preverbal communication skills that a speech pathologist expects to see a baby to be able to use from the age of eight months.”

Read more:   When we Use or Lose Preverbal Communication

By Sophie Sweatman


Preverbal communication skills

[This article includes some exceptionally important information about preverbal communication skills of infants.  When severe infant abuse and neglect happens, I believe the development of all these skills is altered – which in turn alters how communication patterns continue to develop for the duration of childhood so that consequences appear in adulthood.

I experienced serious alterations in these areas and patterns of development as a consequence of the infant abuse my mother did to me.]


“Communication is the transfer of information from one person to another. Most of us spend about 75 percent of our waking hours communicating our knowledge, thoughts, and ideas to others. However, most of us fail to realize that a great deal of our communication is of a non-verbal form as opposed to the oral and written forms. Non-verbal communication includes facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice, body posture and motions, and positioning within groups. It may also include the way we wear our clothes or the silence we keep.”

Non-Verbal Communication


“…other functions such as assistance to the speech encoding processes, probably account for the abundance of nonverbal behaviours among speaking subjects.”

The elimination of visible behaviour from social interactions: Effects on verbal, nonverbal and interpersonal variables

By Dr. Bernard Rimé


Nonverbal Communication

By Albert Mehrabian


Nonverbal Communication Started When You Were An Infant


“Preverbal communication plays a key role in the environmental support to infant cognition, communication, and social integration.”

Beyond emotional bonding: The role of preverbal communication in mental growth and health


Pre-verbal communication and gesture in infancy; parent-infant communication.

Children’s play.


“In the first five years of life, the evolution of communication can be divided into three periods (Adamson & Chance, 1998).  The first period begins at birth when infants communicate through their cries, gazes, vocalizations and early gestures. These early

communicative behaviours are not intentional, but set the stage for later intentional

communication. In the second period, from six to18 months, infants’ communicative

engagement with adults becomes intentional. A major turning point is the appearance of

joint attention (Bakeman & Adamson, 1984), which involves infants coordinating visual

attention with that of another person regarding objects and events (Mundy & Gomes,

1998). In the third period, from 18 months onward, language overtakes action as

children’s primary means of learning and communication.”

The Impact of Language Development on the Psychosocial and Emotional Development of Young Children

Written by: Nancy J. Cohen, Hincks-Dellcrest Centre and Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto




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