Language Therapy

Speech Therapists describe Language, and therefore language difficulties as follows:

Language is a symbolic, rule governed system used to convey a message. We know rules about what words mean e.g. the word ‘bat’ can be used to refer to hitting a ball or to a flying mammal. We know rules about how words go together e.g. ‘I am going to the shop’ instead of ‘I going shop the to’.

Language Therapy

Speech Therapists divide language into:

  • Receptive language (understanding of what is said, written or signed)
  • Expressive language (speaking, signing, writing)

Language Disorders

Language disorders can be described in different ways.

  • Language Delay
  • Specific Language Impairment
  • Language Impairment.

Children can have a Receptive or an Expressive language disorder or Both

  1. A receptive language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding language
  2. An expressive language disorder refers to a difficulty in expressing ideas. There may be no difficultly with ‘how’ we speak but there is a problem with ‘what’ we are able to say.

Children present with a variety of language deficits including:

  • Delayed language development
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Limited vocabulary
  • Difficulties with Grammar (verb tense e.g. comed for came), plurals mouse/mice, pronouns he, she, they
  • Word- finding difficulties. Children may use vague terms to describe objects e.g. thingy/ that/ this.
  • Difficulty answering wh questions (who, what, where, when)
  • Difficulty telling or writing cohesive stories (disjointed stories leaving out critical elements)
  • May not understand jokes, idioms or words with multiple meanings
  • Difficulties with basic concepts (first, last, before, after
  • May have problems with Phonological Awareness (rhyme, identifying and manipulating sounds)
  • Social Skills difficulties.

As children present with a wide variety of language deficits, Speech Therapists provide comprehensive language assessments and develop individualised therapy programmes to target an individual’s specific area of need.

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