1. Section Editor(s): Wallace, Sarah E. PhD, CCC-SLP
  2. Co-Editors
  3. Troia, Gary A. PhD, CCC-SLP
  4. Co-Editors

Article Content

So, take a good look at my face. You'll see my smile looks out of place. If you look closer, it's easy to trace the tracks of my tears. - -Smokey Robinson, The Tracks of My Tears


In these timeless song lyrics, Smokey Robinson highlights what many of us know about communication-There is often a deeper meaning in any situation than what may be communicated through direct or "typical" means. In this issue of Topics in Language Disorders, our editorial team has put together a collection of work that aims to expose some deeper meanings related to social communication and biographical accounts in people with communication disorders across the age span. Specifically, the authors discuss pragmatic language skills as well as biographical approaches to explore language and communication disorders.


First, Troia et al. (2023) share a scoping review aimed at exploring the available research that describes verbal pragmatic skills development and problems in school-age children with primary language impairments and children with language learning difficulty. The major contribution of this review is a list of pragmatic characteristics that distinguish children with development language disorder or language learning difficulty from their typically developing peers. Next, Troia and Amer (2023) explore the relationship among characteristics of school-age children in Oman (e.g., literacy skills, cognition, behavior) and pragmatic language skills. Both typically developing and at-risk children were included in the sample examined in this study. Although a major focus of this project is the consideration of the connections among multiple areas of language, cognition, and behavior, the results were considered within the context of the Omani education system, providing an interesting cultural examination of pragmatics. Finally, Olness and her impressive research team examined the biographical accounts of life with aphasia as part of their stakeholder-engaged research team (Olness et al., 2023). The authors share how a narrative-based approach supported their development of a deeply engaged research team. In summary, this brief issue covers many topics of interest to researchers and clinicians across social communication and wisdom shared through narrative exchange.


-Sarah E. Wallace, PhD, CCC-SLP


-Gary A. Troia, PhD, CCC-SLP






Olness G., Kurnal J., Broussard T., Stillman F., Assaad C., Garcia L., Morgan J. (2023). The narrative-based evolution of a stakeholder-engaged research team mining for gems of wisdom in written biographical accounts of life with aphasia. Topics in Language Disorders, 43(3), 190-209.[Context Link]


Troia G., Amer M. (2023). Relations between pragmatic language and literacy-related skills in Omani elementary students. Topics in Language Disorders, 43(3), 251-275.[Context Link]


Troia G., Hennenfent L., Shen M. (2023). Pragmatic skills in school-age children with primary language impairment and language-learning disabilities: A scoping review of research from 1990 to 2022. Topics in Language Disorders, 43(3), 210-250.[Context Link]