Speech & Hearing - Child Language Disorders

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Children with language disorders have difficulty expressing their thoughts when talking or writing. They also may have problems understanding what is spoken or written. Child language disorders may range from mild to severe, and may occur from infancy through adolescence.

Early intervention can help children communicate effectively and can alleviate some of the frustration parents and children feel. Early language intervention also can help reduce or prevent later problems with reading, writing, school work, and social behavior. Evaluation and intervention services are important for improving speech and language skills. If you are concerned about your child's language, please contact a pediatric speech pathologist for an evaluation.

Indicators of Child Language Disorders

  • absence of words by age 18 months
  • absence of two-word phrases by 24 months
  • inappropriate responses to questions
  • echoing of speech
  • poor intelligibility of speech (unclear speech)
  • undeveloped play skills
  • poor understanding or use of descriptive words and prepositions (in, out, etc.)
  • word-finding problems
  • dependence on gestures to follow directions
  • need for frequent repetitions of directions
  • poor social interaction with peers (does not get along with other children)
  • poor school performance

Indicators of Adolescent Language Disorders

  • failure to understand or pay attention to rules of conversation, for example, turn taking, introducing topics of conversation, and staying on the topic
  • difficulty using different language for different needs of the listener or situation
  • incorrect use of grammar
  • poor or limited vocabulary
  • difficulty requesting further information to aid understanding
  • tendency to ask questions that are too general ("Are you going out tonight?" when what is really meant is "Where are you going tonight?")
  • tendency to agree rather than to voice opposition
  • indirect requests and ambiguous statements
  • class clown behavior
  • extreme forgetfulness
  • withdrawal or exclusion from group activities
  • difficulty with understanding non-verbal behaviors, such as body language; finding words; puns, idioms, riddles, jokes, sarcasm, and slang; instructions, especially those that are long or grammatically complex; words with multiple meanings (bear versus bare); sequencing; expressing thoughts; organizing information
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Education Links

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» ENT Problems
» Speech & Hearing
» Common Surgeries
» Post-Op Instructions


Clinic Locations

Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic
University Hospital Clinics Building
1005 Harborside Drive
Galveston, Texas

Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants
Brittany Plaza
1600 West League City Parkway, Suite D
League City, Texas

Family HealthCare Center
Mainland Crossing
9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway
Texas City, Texas

For an appointment,
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