Language Problems

The ability to understand someone else's speech, gestures or writing is called receptive language. The ability to send a message by talking, writing or using symbols or gestures is called expressive language. Some children have problems with both receptive and expressive language, although some may seem to understand most of what is said, and only have difficulty with talking or expressing themselves.

There are three parts to language that children can have difficulty with:

Language Form - the child may not complete the ending of words, or may not use plurals, or correct tenses compared to most children of the same age.

Language Content - the child may not talk very much or at all, and will have difficulty using words correctly. They may mix up words that sound the same or mean the same and may not understand or use abstract words or concepts, for example, in, behind and over.

Language Use - the child may not talk in new situations or understand questions or follow conversations. They may not be able to follow instructions and may behave badly because they have not realized that the social situation has changed.

Early detection, identification and treatment of communication disorders is essential. Failure to receive professional help may lead to additional problems in educational, social, psychological, emotional and vocational areas. Studies have shown that children who communicate well tend to be more popular. Students with disorders can face not only the taunts of their peers, but frustration in their inability to express themselves. The frustrated teen may end up dropping out of school. Statistics even show sixty per cent of Young Offenders have some form of communication disorder

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