Is Your Young Child Exhibiting Symptoms Of A Language Disorder?

If by preschool age, you find your child is struggling with speaking, if there’s an inability to join words together, or grasp simple grammatical concepts when putting together short sentences, they might be experiencing speech-language delays.

These difficulties can manifest in the production of speech, the understanding or comprehension of words, or more subtle challenges. A child for example may be able to follow directions or identify objects when asked, but struggle to produce complex sentences when trying to describe the nuances of what they see, or how they feel.

Is Your Young Child Exhibiting Symptoms Of A Language Disorder?

Typically, language disorders fall into one of the two categories – expressive or receptive. The former concerns the production of language at the level appropriate for their age. These children may have difficulty expressing themselves verbally and as a result use fewer words than the average child their age. They may also avoid combining words, avoid asking questions, or even speaking altogether. This can lead a child to be misunderstood by their peers, causing them great stress and potentially damaging their self-confidence.

Receptive language disorders are a little bit different, and concern grasping the meaning of words or messages being relayed. Children who struggle with receptive language will often have difficulty understanding what their parents, teachers, or other caregivers are trying to tell them. They may find answering questions more challenging as opposed to asking a question, or telling a story. This may prevent them from participating fully in conversation or from learning effectively.

Thankfully, the earlier parents seek special attention for their child, the faster they’re able to move passed the roadblocks that language poses for them. Should your child be exhibiting any of the above language difficulties, it is best to contact a speech-language pathologist. Early in the treatment process, these therapists will provide parents with resources to help them increase their knowledge of language disorders, and discuss with them the benefits of intervention.

Speech-Language Pathologists, such as those working with The Therapy Spot can help with more complex speech impediments including apraxia, dysarthria, or oral myofunctional disorders that prevent communication through ongoing and consistent treatment.

They will first observe the child to see how they’re engaging with speech and language both in the home or in their day care/preschool. After an assessment, they will see whether direct intervention (at a centre or as part of a program for example) is the best route, or if more fluid implementation will suffice. If the therapist decides on the latter, they can provide parents with tools and tactics to make communication with their child easier. By understanding their child’s needs, they can alter how they pose a question, or carry a conversation.

Should you find your child is having difficulties with speech or language, consider contacting a clinic near you for a comprehensive assessment. Therapists can create a treatment plan that tackles the areas your child needs practise or focus in, and can also instruct family members, helping them make conversations more fluid, and feel more intuitive for those struggling.