All About Language Therapy
There is a difference between speech therapy and language therapy. Most of the people tend to confuse these terms but it is important to know the difference in order to get the correct treatment. A certified speech-language pathologist will help you identify either your child is having a speech disorder or a language disorder. I am talking about a child here because these disorders are diagnosed in childhood in almost all the cases.
Speech disorder is concerned with difficulty producing sounds such as saying simple everyday words like ‘apple’. On the other hand, language disorder is concerned with difficulty expressing ideas through communication or understanding the language.
Classification of language disorders:
The language disorders are mainly classified as receptive or expressive disorders.
As the name suggests, these disorders have to do with problems in reception of language. The individuals with this disorder are unable to understand the language. This condition occurs due to the defect in parts of the brain that process language i.e. Broca’s area.
The individuals with expressive disorder, as the name implies, are unable to express themselves in socially appropriate ways. They have difficulty putting words together and forming the sentences. The use of vocabulary is very limited.
These disorders include difficulty in communication due to the defects in cognitive processes such as memory, attention and perception. For example: The individual is unable to retain the incoming auditory information or to pay attention to it.
Causes of language disorders
There are many causes of language disorders. Most of them co-occur with other disorders such as Autism and Down’s syndrome. Other causes may include genetic factors, pre-mature birth, malnutrition and brain tumors etc.
If you spot a child having difficulty understanding gestures and words, following directions, identifying objects, using pronouns or learning rhymes then immediately refer them to a speech-language pathologist for an official diagnosis.
The SLP will work with a child in isolated or group settings depending on his nature. He may use language intervention therapy by showing pictures, words and objects and naming them or he may use sound production exercises, facial and jaw muscle exercises or any combination of the vast variety of treatment options available by forming a comprehensive treatment plan.
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