Have you ever sent a text asking someone how they’re doing and received the reply “great.” You may have interpreted it as your friend is having a wonderful day. However, they might have actually been having a horrible day and meant “great” sarcastically. Understanding a person’s meaning behind their words (otherwise known as pragmatic language ability) often requires knowing a lot of contextual clues, including tone of voice, body language and facial expressions. “Great” with an eye roll is vastly different from “great” with a smile. These subtle clues can be difficult to detect in many pragmatic language assessments, yet they are a large factor in determining if a person has a social communication disorder and pragmatic language difficulties.
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Adriana Lavi about her new video-based pragmatic language assessment, the Clinical Assessment of Pragmatics (CAPs). She discusses her clinical background, what led her to develop the assessment tool, and why this assessment can be more accurate in detecting pragmatic language disorders. This interview can help parents and educators understand why their child may have scored well on other language assessments, yet they struggle with reading these ever-important social cues in real situations.
About Dr. Lavi
Adriana Lavi, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a practicing licensed school-based speech-language pathologist with more than 15 years of experience working with children and young adults who present with a variety of communication disorders. She currently supervises speech-language pathologists in three school districts in Southern California. Dr. Lavi developed the Clinical Assessment of Pragmatics (CAPs) and founded the Lavi Institute for Research and Professional Development, where she completes research and develops a variety of treatment programs. She has also served as an assistant professor at the Department of Communicative Disorders at Loma Linda University. Her primary research interests focus on pragmatics, and the assessment and treatment of culturally and linguistically diverse students with communication disorders. Dr. Lavi is also a mother of four young, highly energetic little boys, ages 6, 5, 4 and 18 months.