Language development follows an expected sequence of milestones. Each building upon the other, from understanding first words, to saying first words, to talking in sentence and stories onto sophisticated expression and complicated comprehension. Many oral language skills lay the foundations for later academic and social learning at school. A speech pathologist needs to determine whether the language skills a child has are appropriate for their age.
There are many different patterns of language difficulties which require thorough assessment by a speech pathologist. These patterns exist as children may only have one area of language affected, a number of areas or a unique pattern of language strengths and weaknesses. Some language difficulties present first as a late talking toddler. Older children may go onto have language difficulties with no known cause such as a Developmental Language Disorder and other children may have language disorders associated with another disability. It is very important to understand the unique nature of each child’s language disorder in order to provide the most appropriate intervention.
Whatever the difficulties, speech pathologist always recommend seeking help as early as possible. The most supportive intervention for any child with a language difficulty is to be actively involved in reading with their parents, playing, conversing and connecting with them. Know where the child is at and support them with the next step in their language journey.