What is Developmental Language Disorder?

A child with Developmental Language Disorder has language that is slow to develop and their language does not develop in the normal way. They have challenges:

  • understanding what other people say
  • talking and communicating to other people
  • understanding written language
  • Using written language at school

These communication difficulties can cause challenges that impact the child’s ability to:

  • make friends
  • learn at school
  • understand and complete written work

It can also have a significant impact on the child’s social and emotional well-being. Developmental Language Disorder usually affects 2 children in every classroom. It is a lifelong issue and persists into adulthood, however, the challenges they face change over time. It presents in the following ways:

  • Difficulties understanding information and instructions, difficulty understanding conversations around them,  remembering what other people said
  • Difficulties using words and sentences to express thoughts, information, feelings, opinions and ideas
  • Difficulties using clear speech sounds so other people can understand them
  • Difficulties using language socially to communicate with friends and family

We can help children with Developmental Language Disorder by:

  • Working with a Speech Pathologist to develop achievable speech and language goals that develop the child’s language skills
  • Teach the child strategies so they can manage situations when they don’t understand. This could include making sure they are comfortable asking the teacher questions and teaching them simple questions to ask the teacher
  • Implementing a visual system to help them understand and remember what the instructions were. There are many simple and easy visual systems that can be used
  • Giving teaching staff clear, achievable recommendations that can be put into the child’s education plan so they access the curriculum.
  • Provide extra time to complete tasks at school.

A child with Developmental Language Disorder will need an assessment and intervention with a Speech Pathologist. The Speech Pathologist can work with child, their family and the school to improve the child’s language skills, and develop strategies that work for each child. Speech Pathology needs to be individualised to support the child’s unique challenges. Children with Developmental Language Disorder can grow up the be happy, successful people who know how to manage their differences.

If your are concerned about your child’s language skills then speak to our Speech Pathologists at OneOnOne Children’s Therapy. In our Bondi Junction clinic, we are happy to answer any questions you may have. We can make a recommendation about assessment and intervention. We can be contacted on (02) 80657837 or at info@oneononechildren.com.au.

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