Language is the way we use words to express our thoughts and ideas, either verbally or in writing. Language skills begin to develop from birth and continue throughout a child’s life and school education. Difficulty with either understanding or using language can have a lifelong impact, both socially and academically.
Language Difficulties in Adults
After a stroke or traumatic brain injury people may have difficulty either using language, or understanding it, the way they used to. Aphasia is the term for damage caused to the part of the brain that controls language, and subtypes include difficulties speaking, listening, writing, and/or reading.
Language Difficulties in Children
When to seek help:
- If your child is not talking as much as other children the same age
- When your child constantly is putting the words in the wrong order
- If you child has difficulty interacting with other children, making friends at day care or school.
- If you child’s teacher has identified they are having difficulty at school. Some areas may include: following instructions, learning to read, oral presentations such as news time, difficulty organizing ideas for written work or poor grammar.
- If you child finds it hard to retell events, such as what happened at school, a weekend activity or a friend’s birthday party.
- If your child uses a lot of non-specific language – eg ‘the thingo’ ‘a whatsie’ ‘that thing there’
- when difficulties finding the right words becomes frustrating
- when language difficulties have occurred in relation to a stroke or head injury
Each child develops at a different rate, however for a guideline of language developmental milestones please see visit speech-language-therapy.com