Are you worried about the way your child understands what you say, or uses words and sentences to communicate?  Is your child having difficulties with learning or literacy at school? A language delay or disorder may be reason for these difficulties.    

Language difficulties include difficulties with both understanding and using language.  

Difficulties with understanding are called comprehension or receptive language difficulties. This includes difficulty understanding words, sentences and concepts.  It may show up as a difficulty with following instructions, answering questions, remembering and understanding information at school or understanding what is read.       

Difficulties with using language are called expressive language difficulties. This includes difficulty using words, word endings and grammar, forming sentences and texts such as stories.  It may show up as a difficulty with expressing ideas or putting ideas down on paper.     

Difficulties with language can be in the following areas:

  • meaning or content of language such as using and understanding words and concepts
  • structure of language such as using grammar and word endings, structuring sentences and stories
  • social use of language such as knowing how to hold a conversation, make a request, talk in different ways to different people in different settings and use communication to make and keep friends  

Reading and writing are also language skills and children with language difficulties will also show difficulties in these areas.  Developing your child's language skills will help them to achieve at their best level at school.

Children with language difficulties can also show behavioural and social difficulties due to their difficulty understanding and expressing themselves effectively.  Building your child's language skills can have a positive effect on these areas also. If you are looking for more information about language development and how to help your child you can also look at relevant language articles in our weekly blog.      

Children diagnosed with developmental delay, auditory processing disorder (APD/CAPD), attention deficit disorder (ADD/ ADHD) and dyslexia often show improvements with support to develop their language skills.

Talking Matters speech pathologists can assess language skills and develop a program of therapy activities targeted at the specific needs of children with language difficulties. Contact us by phoning (08) 8255 7137 if you are concerned and would like a language assessment or therapy for your child.


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