Understanding Language Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Learn about language disorder, a neurodevelopmental condition that affects communication abilities. Find out about its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
In this article, we'll take a closer look, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
What Is Language Processing Disorder?
Language is one of the primary means of communication and interaction. For some individuals, however, language acquisition and use can be a challenge. It is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by difficulty understanding, using, or expressing language.
People who are suffering from this condition have trouble communicating, understanding, and expressing themselves through spoken language.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
What is Language Disorder?
Language impairment disorder, also referred to as specific language impairment (SLI), is a communication disorder which interferes with a person's development, understanding, and expression through language. This disorder often affects both the comprehension and production of both spoken and written language.
There are types of SLI which are characterized by difficulty of language but are not caused or due to neurological, sensory, intellectual, or emotional deficit.
It is diagnosed when an idividual exhibits persistent difficulties with language, despite adequate intelligence, hearing, and speaking ability. It is a lifelong condition that typically manifests in early childhood, affecting up to 7% of school-aged children.
What Causes of Specific Language Impairment (SLI)?
There is no single cause. It may be due to a combination of factors, including genetic, environmental, and developmental factors. Find out some of them here:
Tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component.
Brain Injury or Trauma:
Damage to the brain can impact language processing abilities.
Hearing impairment can make it difficult to learn and use language.
Premature infants are at a higher risk due to underdeveloped brain function.
Lack of exposure to language during early childhood or exposure to a language that is different from the one spoken at home can contribute.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Language Disorder
The symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual's age. Through this, experts and researchers alike were able to set some markers that would allow them to properly assess and diagnose people or children suffering from this condition. Some of the symptoms to watch out for early diagnosis and treatment are as follows:
Delayed Language Development:
A child may exhibit delayed language development and may not meet the expected language milestones.
Difficulty Understanding Language:
Individuals may struggle to understand language or follow spoken or written instructions.
A child may have a limited vocabulary and may struggle to find the right words to express themselves.
Difficulty with Grammar and Syntax:
Can impact a person's ability to use correct grammar and sentence structure.
Social Communication Difficulties:
Individuals may have difficulty with social communication, such as making eye contact or understanding social cues.
Language Processing Disorder Treatments for Adults & Kids
Early intervention is key in the treatment. Treatment options may include:
Speech therapy can help individuals improve their communication skills.
Language therapy focuses on improving language comprehension and expression.
Social Communication Intervention:
Social communication intervention can help individuals develop social communication skills.
Parent and Caregiver Education:
Education and training for parents and caregivers can help support the language development of individuals.
Assistive technology, such as speech-generating devices or communication boards, can help individuals communicate more effectively.
Language disorder can significantly impact an individual's ability to communicate and interact with others. While the causes are not fully understood, early diagnosis and intervention can help individuals improve their language skills and communication abilities.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have a language disorder, seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. With proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals can lead fulfilling and communicative lives.
- NIDCD fact sheet | voice, speech, and language. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/health/voice/NIDCD-Dysphagia.pdf.
- (No date a) SLI: What we know and why it matters | the Asha leader. Available at: https://leader.pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/leader.FTR1.06122001.4.
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