Children are all unique, some start talking at an early age and comprehend everything said to them. While others may not talk quite so much or have a difficult time listening. If a child has a language or speech problem prior to starting school, early intervention is very important.
It can be difficult to tell if your preschooler has a speaking or language disorder
Receptive Language is where a child has difficulty understanding. According to American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) they may have problems with:
Understanding what people mean when they use gestures, like shrugging or nodding
Pointing to objects and pictures
Knowing how to take turns when talking with others
Expressive language is when children have trouble talking. They may have trouble with:
Putting words together into sentences
Learning songs and rhymes
Using correct pronouns, like “he” or “they”
Knowing how to start a conversation and keep it going
Changing how they talk to different people and in different places. For example, you speak differently to an adult than a young child. You can talk louder outside than inside.
Talking and understanding are also a problem for some child. As well as, early reading and writing:
Holding a book right side up
Looking at pictures in a book and turning pages
Telling a story with a beginning, middle, and end
Naming letters and numbers
Learning the alphabet
There are several reasons why your preschooler can have a language disorder. ASHA list of some possible reasons:
Other people in your family having language problems
Being born early
Low birth weight
Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Failure to thrive
Don’t worry, there’s help. The therapists at First Words have extensive clinical experience and training. Our effective holistic approach takes place in your child’s natural environment, providing the highest quality of care.
We encourage parents, caregivers, and siblings to help improve your child’s understanding and talking with some activities:
Talk a lot to your child. This will help your child learn new words.
Read to your child every day. Point out words you see.
Point to signs in the grocery store, at school, and outside.
Speak to your child in the language you know best.
Listen and answer when your child talks.
Get your child to ask you questions.
Give your child time to answer questions.
Set time limits for watching TV and using computers. Use the time for talking and reading together.