1 in 14 children have Language Disorder. Language Disorder is a developmental disorder that affects how children think about, understand, and use language. It is the primary impairment that contributes to restrictions in an individual’s participation and well-being in everyday activities.
For a child with Language Disorder, it is the language difficulties that impact most upon the child’s development and his/her access to the educational curriculum.
What are some areas of communication that can be affected by a Language Disorder?
- The desire to communicate with others
- Understanding what is being said
- Having the vocabulary to express wants and needs
- Forming sentences that are age-appropriate
- Being part of a conversation
- Interpreting and using body language
How will I know if my child has Language Disorder?
A child with Language Disorder has difficulty understanding what we say to them and using words to communicate. Your child may have problems in the following areas:
Behaviour – your child may:
- not respond to his/her name
- find it hard to concentrate and stay on-task
- be easily distracted and frustrated
- be reluctant to contribute to conversations due to an awareness of his difficulties
Daily-Living Skills – your child may find it difficult to:
- share or take turns
- develop new skills (eg. tying laces, getting dressed)
Organisation and Planning – your child may find it difficult to follow familiar routines and organise himself/herself. He/She may appear:
- to have a tendency to lose things
- forgetful and clumsy
Problem-solving – your child may have trouble identifying and solving problems in both academic and social situations.
Classroom Learning – your child may have difficulty listening and learning in class.
Reading – your child may struggle when:
- sounding out words
- understanding what has been read
Writing – your child may struggle with:
- forming words and sentences
Numeracy – your child may demonstrate difficulty with:
- abstract concepts
What should I do if I suspect my child has Language Disorder?
Language difficulties may occur for many reasons. Consultation with a speech pathologist is essential to determine whether your child has Language Disorder. Your child may also need a cognitive assessment by a psychologist. Your paediatrician will be able to assist in diagnosing and/or excluding other developmental concerns.
Will my child outgrow Language Disorder?
Language Disorder is a lifelong disorder that changes over time. Your child will need continuous support, however early identification and intervention will maximise developmental outcomes for your child.
Is there a specific therapy approach that can help my child with language disorder?
Every child diagnosed with Language Disorder presents with different difficulties. Language Disorder intervention will involve language therapy, but may also involve additional therapy by some or all of the following professionals:
- Speech Language Pathologist
- Learning Support Staff
- Occupational Therapist
- Music Therapist
What assistance is available for Language Disorder?
As leaders in Language Disorder intervention and therapy we are here to help. As a first step we recommend visiting us at Speech & Language Development Australia. For more information on how we can help you navigate Language Disorder and other related disorders please call 1300 881 763. We will help you find the answers to ensure your child achieves their goals.