Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a neuro-developmental condition that emerges in early childhood and can persist into adulthood, manifesting as a variety of symptoms that can be significantly different in each individual. It has an estimated prevalence of 7.58% and is nearly 7 times more common in children than autism spectrum disorder (McGregor, 2020). As a population, individuals with DLD are at risk of facing significant issues in associating areas of language, including reading comprehension, problem-solving abilities, and social skills. Professionals have noticed emotional disconnect amongst individuals with DLD, leading to the proposition that those with DLD may have a significant deficiency in emotional interpretation. My research assessed three students’ ability to identify emotions in inanimate objects and photos of people. The students were presented with images that illustrated five different emotions and asked to label the emotion. With this experiment, the picture stimuli were presented in a controlled setting and manner. My hypothesis was that children with DLD correctly interpret emotions in inanimate objects easier than in humans, suggesting that toys or picture stimuli with suspected emotions can be a first step into helping provide intervention for those with DLD. The point of the research was to see if the activity involving inanimate emotional recognition can provide an analogous railing to assist in climbing the stairway of communication.
Semester/Year of Award
Jade H. Robinson
Mentor Department Affiliation
Clinical Therapeutic Programs
Open Access Thesis
Communication Sciences and Disorders
IRB Approval Number (if applicable)
Gullett, Savanna B., "Emotionally Unavailable: A Comparison on the Ability of Children with Developmental Language Disorders to Interpret Emotions in Humans and Inanimate Objects" (2022). Honors Theses. 921.