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Language Disorders

What is Language?

Language is what we use as humans to communicate to each other our thoughts and our feelings; it is also how we understand others. Language is a code that has set rules that we follow, these rules are learnt from the time we are young children. These include how to make new words, how to put them together to make sense, what these words mean, and how these words can be used in different combinations to express different ideas and feelings.

Language Development in Children

Children develop language naturally by listening to adults and children speak around them. From a very young age they begin to imitate the sounds they hear and eventually they learn to put words into sentences that become more complex as they mature. Children develop language at different rates, but it is important that parents feel that their child's language is developing steadily and is showing continuous growth.

Language Disorders

When a child or an adult has difficulty understanding others, it is said the person has a receptive language disorder. When the person has difficulty expressing his thoughts and ideas, then he or she has an expressive language disorder.

Language disorders can be caused by hearing loss, mental retardation, altered development before birth causing developmental delays, autism and cerebral palsy. In adults, language disorders can be caused by strokes and other neurological disorders. However, many language disorders happen without a known cause. Language disorders can vary in severity; they can be mild, moderate or severe.

Can language disorders be treated?

When you suspect that your child's language is delayed, it is advised that you seek the opinion of a professional. A speech language professional can evaluate your child's speech and language; he or she can determine the severity of the problem and design an individual treatment plan based on the specific needs of your child. For optimum success, it is very important that the parents or the caregiver are actively involved in the treatment. It will be required of the parents to do carry over of the therapy exercises at home. Sometimes, the speech language pathologist may also need to collaborate with the child's teacher in school as well as with other professionals.

(For more information you can visit American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)).

Speech and Language Diagnostic and Treatment Services at JISH

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