“Language deprivation syndrome,” (LDS) is the name that American Deaf psychiatrist Sanjay Gulati has given to a recognizable constellation of social, emotional, intellectual and other consequences for deaf people when they grow up without adequate access to either spoken or signed communication. According to Gulati, structurally speaking, LDS is aberrant neurodevelopment. Functionally, it is an intellectual disability. The presence of this constellation of issues has long been noted in the Deaf mental health and rehabilitation literature, and several names for this condition have been offered dating back decades. Clinical experience is that LDS is a highly common form of co-morbidity seen, to varying degrees, in deaf persons served in mental health settings. It is a condition that confounds both assessment and treatment.
In this presentation, our current understanding of LDS will be discussed along with a history of attempts to understand define this condition. The presenter will discuss how awareness of LDS developed on the Deaf psychiatric unit he administered for 17 years. He will also discuss varying causes for language deprivation and dysfluency in deaf people, compare these with conditions that cause dysfluency in hearing people, review current socio-historical developments impacting language development in deaf children, and then some of the implications of LDS for service provision, including interpreting, with deaf people.
For further information and registration, go to the Language First website