LANGUAGE

A language disorder is an impairment with the client’s ability to understand what someone is saying and/or difficulties finding words to formulate sentences. This is different than a hearing impairment as children with a language disorder typically have no problems hearing or pronouncing sounds. If language disorders are left untreated, the communication problem may lead to academic struggles and potential social/emotional issues. Language difficulties can be seen in the following contexts:

 

Characteristics of language problems:

 

Receptive language

  • Difficulties ‘understanding’ spoken language

    • Vocabulary knowledge

    • Following directions (ex. pick up the ball, put it in the basket and bring it to me)

    • Meaning of what other’s say

    • Comprehension of reading

 

Expressive language

  • Difficulties with verbal communication

    • Vocabulary expression

    • Grammatical accuracy

    • Sentence formulation (ex. putting thoughts into words/sentences)

    • Higher level expression of language

    • Writing difficulties

 

Mixed receptive-expressive language

  • Difficulties with both understanding and using spoken language

    • Vocabulary knowledge and expression

    • Difficulties understanding directions or giving directions

    • Difficulties understanding concepts (ex. left/right, first/last) or using these words in conversation

    • Difficulties understanding and using grammatical markers in sentences

    • Difficulties with comprehension or reading and writing

 

What can be done?

Assessment: During a language assessment the clinician will gather case history information, deliver a standardised assessment tool, score the results and write all of the information into a report. The standardised assessment gives individual standard scores of receptive language, expressive language and total language scores. These scores can be compared to normative data to determine if a problem exists. Typically, the assessment lasts one to one and a half hours. The clinician will recommend the best treatment approach for the client.

 

Treatment:

  • Receptive language: Weekly treatment is usually recommended for receptive language. The therapist will choose goals based on difficult areas as determined by the standardised assessment (and parent feedback). During an hour treatment session, the clinician can treat 3-4 receptive language goals. Progress is measured on each goal during the treatment session. Once the child reaches 90%+ success on the goal, the clinician moves to the next goal. Home practice activities are given during each clinic visits.

 

  • Expressive language: Weekly treatment is recommended for expressive language. As with receptive language, goals are chosen based on difficulties determined by standardised assessment (and parent feedback). During a treatment session, the clinician can treat 3-4 expressive language goals. Progress is measured on each goal during the treatment session. Once the child reaches 90%+ success on the goal, the clinician moves to the next goal. Home practice activities are given during each clinic visits.

 

  • Treatment visits are typically 1 hour on a weekly basis for receptive and/or expressive language. If the child is unable to sit or attend for that length of time, reduced session time is highly recommended.

If you are unsure if your child has a communication problem, please phone us at Little Star to speak directly to a speech therapist regarding your questions

 

Clinic: 02 4952 3856

Email: littlestarspeechtherapy@gmail.com

Suite 4, 119-125 Beaumont Street, Hamilton, New South Wales, 2303 Australia

@2013 Little Star Speech Thereapy

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