In typically-developing children, there is an age at which certain language skills are achieved. Children who have not achieved age appropriate language milestones may have a delay or disorder.
Pre-school children, ages 5 and under, may have difficulty understanding and talking. It is important to note that this is different from having a speech delay, when children experience a delay in the development or use of the mechanisms that produce speech sounds (see Speech Concerns).
In typically-developing children, there is an age at which certain language skills are achieved. Children who have not achieved age appropriate language milestones may have a pre-school language delay or disorder.
Language disorders or delays can be divided into two areas:
- Difficulty understanding others, also called receptive language delay or disorder, means that your child has difficulty with:
- Understanding what you or others are saying
- Understanding simple words
- Understanding gestures
- Following directions and instructions
- Reading comprehension
When children have difficulty talking they have an expressive language difficulty or delay. This may include difficulty with:
- Using an age appropriate number of words (vocabulary)
- Using a variety of words
- Putting words together into sentences
- Taking turns in conversation
- Using ‘wh” words e.g. when, what etc.( asking questions)
- Using correct pronouns e.g. he/she , they
- Telling a story with a simple beginning , middle and end
Our speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) help children with language difficulties. This starts with an assessment to determine whether or not his/her language is typically-developing. If therapy is warranted, our S-LPs will work directly with you and your child. She or he will uses many techniques to promote and enhance language development, including providing education about the relationship between language development and reading and writing. Helpful “tips” to use at home and in everyday activities are provided.
The best outcomes occur when parents seek out early intervention for language delays and disorders.