What are Speech and Language/Communication Disorders?
Developmental speech and language disorders refer to any disorders in children who do not acquire spoken and/or written language skills in accordance with an age appropriate developmental pattern. This includes children with difficulties in the development of communication interaction, comprehension and production of language, including the pragmatic/functional aspects of language, articulation, phonology (sound system of a language), fluency, voice and disorders of swallowing.
There may or may not be an identifiable reason for the difficulty. Some of the common identifiable causes for speech and language disorders may be: – mental handicap, autism, a learning disability, hearing loss, cerebral palsy, head injury.
14% to 20% of pre-school children have delayed or disordered speech and language.
Signs of Speech and Language/Communication disorders:
- Difficulty in understanding speech
- Difficulty in thinking of words/word finding e.g. may call `bulb’ a `light’
- Difficulty in putting words together into sentences
- Difficulty with grammar e.g. pronoun reversals or problems with plurals
- Difficulty in saying sounds and/ or words e.g. say `tun’ for `sun’
- Difficulty in narrating and sequencing a simple story or event
- Reading and writing difficulties