“My daughter seems to have selective hearing. She only seems to be able to follow instructions if she wants to. If she’s distracted or doing something else, she just doesn’t listen to me – or she’ll do one thing that I ask and not the rest. Her teacher has noticed that she’s struggling to follow instructions in the classroom too and she relies on watching her peer next to her to remind her what to do next.”
“My son is difficult to understand sometimes. I can understand him, but other people struggle. It’s like he gets all his words mixed up in his sentence.”
Both of these scenarios are suggestive of a Developmental Language Disorder. When examining language, Speech Pathologists break it up into receptive language: understanding and following directions, and expressive language: talking in sentences.
Early Start Speech Pathologists will use a standardised assessment to examine your child’s language skill in-depth and work out where their strengths and areas of need are.
Therapy is individually tailored based on your child’s needs. Therapy at Early start is always based on evidence and is fun and functional. We aim to look at all areas of their life including socially and academic, and how therapy can make the biggest impact for them.
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Developmental Language Disorder
Is the term used for a delay in the spoken use of language (Expressive Language) or the understanding of language (Receptive Language). There are no known causes for DLD, however your child may be more at risk if there is any family history of language difficulties. Children with DLD need to see a speech pathologist to help them develop their language skills. They may also need additional support in the classroom so they can follow the curriculum.
Red Flags for potential language development problems
- Quiet babies
- No or limited interest in people
- Delayed language milestones- no first words until 24 months or delayed at putting words together (2.5+ years)
- Needed a parent or sibling to always be their interpreter
- Any loss or regression of language
- Child uses the same word for multiple things – if still doing past 24 months
- Difficult to understand or explain themselves to others without frustration or anger.
- Struggling to keep up in the classroom or develop reading skills
- Difficulties maintaining attention to tabletop work or a challenge to complete homework requirements. Always complaining the work is too hard or they cannot do it.
- Behavioural problems in the classroom and at home, or, likes to have the attention of others on them to avoid challenging work.
- Social difficulties, making and keeping friends, and understanding the social rules
- Difficulty with comprehension of texts. May read well, but cannot explain what they have just read.