If your child is not grasping language as soon or as well as you expect, you might be concerned that they have a language impairment. There are some potential signs of language impairment for which you should be aware. If your child is two years of age or older and not yet speaking words, they might have a language disorder. By the age of three or four, children begin to have an excellent ability to communicate what they need and want to their parents and caregivers. If you are constantly experiencing difficulty understanding what your young child is trying to tell you, it might be time to consult their physician.
Your child’s doctor will probably evaluate your child in an effort to determine if they are having problems understanding the language they are hearing or the words they speak. Their pediatrician can provide the first line of help for determining if your child might have a language impairment or if there is another cause for their communication problems. If your child is nearing preschool age and is suspected to have a language impairment, contact the school district where you live. Many school districts have programs where a speech-language pathologist can test your child for language impairment and even offer assistance before they reach kindergarten age.
It is important to note that your child does not necessarily have a language impairment if they have a speech impediment. Some speech impediments are the result of learning disorders. Children can have difficulty speaking if they have hearing problems or motor difficulties. Know what you are dealing with before creating a plan to help your child.. Do not assume your child’s condition.
Do not feel helpless if you learn your child does infect have a language impairment. In fact, information from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association about language impairment states that as many as 7% of children have language impairments at the age of 5.
Identifying your child’s language impairment at an early age is essential. Children often have difficulty reading if they have language impairments. This is sometimes in part due to your child not fully understanding the context of the words they read. There are steps you can take along with your child’s teachers and language therapist, to ensure they have every tool they need to become a good reader.
If your child has a language impairment, work closely with their speech-language therapist. Ask for ways that you can help your child to develop their language. Language therapists often work for the school district for early intervention of children with language disorders. They start working to help children to diminish the affects of their language impairment by working with them at their preschool or even within their home.
When your child goes to school, make certain their teachers know the details of their language impairment. Just as when your child is younger, continue to work closely with their language therapists and teachers to ensure they are getting all the tools they need to succeed in school despite their speech impairment.