Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Verbal Does Not Equal Communicating

Speech therapy covers a multitude of issues. Today, The emphasis is going to be on language and Communication issues that may cause a child difficulty that a therapist could assist in a treatment plan.

1. Auditory processing. The brain processes auditory information but there are some differences that can create some distinct challenges for the person with these differences.

Something's included are:

A. Auditory discrimination- the ability to distinguish between various sounds

B. Auditory figure-ground discrimination - ability to pick out important sounds from a noisy background

C. Auditory memory - ability to hold on to something heard - both in long term and short term memory

D. Auditory sequencing- the ability to hold on to the order of words

2. Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder- a child has both of the conditions listed below.

A child may only be diagnosed with one of these conditions.

A. Receptive Language Disorder

A child may have difficulty understanding the words or sentences used by others. Or the child may be inattentive to auditory information or instructions.

B. Expressive Language Disorder

A child may have difficulty finding the words for expressing wants and needs. The child may have a small vocabulary or use words incorrectly. He or she may speak using short phrases, leaving out small but important words, or the child may put sentences together incorrectly.

For both types of language disorder, the main problem may be with words and their meanings, sentence structure or the ability to understand and use language correctly.

3. Pragmatic Language Deficits

Pragmatics is the area of language function that embraces the use of language in social contexts.

Children with pragmatic difficulties have great trouble using language socially in ways that are appropriate or typical of children of their age.

Pragmatics involve

Using language for different purposes, such as
    • greetings
    • Informing
    • Requesting
    • Changing language according to the needs of a listener or situation,
    • Following rules for conversations and storytelling, such as
    • taking turns in conversation
    • introducing topics of conversation
    • staying on topic
    • rephrasing when misunderstood
    • how to use verbal and nonverbal signals
    • how close to stand to someone when speaking
    • how to use facial expressions and eye contact
  • If you are like me, I didn't understand how language and communication were affected by my son's disability. I can distinctly remember reading a chapter on communication issues and thinking, "I could skip this" because I thought that he had no communication issues. After a few "aha" moments, I realized he had a lot of issues in all of the areas addressed in this post. Does my experience resonate with you?