Actually, a large number of children are diagnosed with a language delay. But what is it and what repercussions does it have? Language delay is an alteration in language development that is characterized by a lag in the acquisition of language skills in relation to the child's chronological age, with no biological or psychological causes to explain it. On our site we tell you how you can help your child overcome the language delay.
There are a number of things that can be affected if a child suffers from a language delay. They can be divided into linguistic and non-linguistic symptoms, as we will see below.
As for the linguistic symptoms, we will highlight the following:
- Phonology. Phoneme acquisition is slow and disorganized.
- Morphology and syntax. The child's expression is very low, it may appear agrammatism, disorganization of the sentence ...
- Semantics: the vocabulary of these children is very limited, and they have difficulties when it comes to evoking words, organizing semantic fields, repeating words and phrases ...
- Pragmatics: uses primary communication functions and their language is usually linked to non-verbal language.
Your expression may also be compromised.
Accompanying these symptoms, non-linguistic aspects may also appear that may suggest problems in language acquisition and development. These symptoms range from cognitive aspects (symbolic play, memory, spatial-temporal structuring ...) to behavioral aspects (disturbances in attention, tantrums ...) passing through perceptual aspects (auditory discrimination, problems identifying the origin of sound) and psychomotor aspects ( practical difficulties and lateralization alterations among others).
- First of all, it is important to know that adapt the language to the child. You have to speak slowly, pronouncing correctly all the phonemes that make up the word, especially those that the child does not pronounce correctly.
- On the other hand, it is important accompany our parallel non-verbal communication language to facilitate language understanding.
- It is necessary to respect the speaking turns, taking into account that the turns may be longer than usual.
- What's more, syntactic constructions must be simple, adapting to the child's abilities, but keeping in mind that they must always be correctly structured.
- It is important that parents develop observation skills to appreciate the progress that the child is making. Also, it is important that they bear in mind that spontaneous expression must be encouraged and their frustration avoided by not being understood.
The parents and environment of these children should adopt a positive attitude and show pride in their progress. In this way, the child will be motivated by the speech therapy intervention and will have more desire to speak.
With speech therapy intervention, the following objectives are intended:
- Improve knowledge about the prerequisites to language development, such as orofacial motor skills, auditory discrimination, breathing, relaxation and breath.
- Promote the components of speech and language: articulation, grammar, pragmatics, non-verbal language.
- Develop correct oral expression and comprehension.
- Prevent possible later problems in the field of written language, both in reading and writing.
As in all pathologies susceptible to speech therapy, it is essential that an early diagnosis is carried out to correct the problem early and avoid the appearance of subsequent disorders in other areas, such as reading, among others. Therefore, if you detect any of the symptoms mentioned above, do not hesitate to consult your speech therapist!
You can read more articles similar to How to help the child with a language delay, in the Language category - On-site speech therapy.