What are language disorders?

by Ben Peterson

Putting it simply, a language disorder is an impairment that makes it harder for someone to communicate when speaking. It also can be a difficulty in understanding what others are trying to communicate as well. Some people can have both where they have trouble talking and understanding.

Language disorders can make it very challenging for children to understand what other people are saying to them. This can affect how the child learns and socializes in school and with other children. This is a huge concern for a lot of parents. Language disorders are a very common childhood conditions and there are many ways they can be treated.

The first step is to learn more about language disorders, start reading on key indicators of language disorders and look for suggestions on how you can get help. Some common indications that your child might have a language disorder are:

It’s important that you distinguish the difference between a language disorder and a hearing issue or speech disorder and miss diagnose your child. Children with language disorder usually don’t have trouble hearing or pronouncing the words, instead their struggle is applying the rules of language, like grammar. To understand how to treat your child, you need to know what type of language disorder he has.

3 types of Language disorders

  1. Receptive language issues: Child has difficulty understanding what other people are saying.
  2. Expressive language issues: Child has difficulty communicating his/her thoughts or ideas
  3. Mixed receptive-expressive language issues: Child has difficulty both understanding and using spoken language.

A language disorder can be either developed or acquired. An acquired language disorder typically shows up after a person has had some kind of neurological illness or injury, could be a stroke or head trauma. A developed language disorder is what parents are most concerned about because they’re more common in children. These children tend to start speaking later than their peers. This has nothing to do with their intelligence, in fact, children with a language disorder typically have a above average IQ. The problem is with receiving and expressing language, and usually begins before the age of 4.

If you are a concerned parent that might be possibly dealing with a child who has a language disorder the best thing you can do is to help and understand what language disorder your child has so your child can learn to manage it and make the most of his strengths and talents. For additional questions and support, please check out this article from Understood.org.

About the writer

Ben Peterson is a husband, father, and language enthusiast from Roseville, CA who speaks Spanish, English and French. His Father is Mexican and his mother is French and American. He works full time for Roseville Windshield Repair and part time student at Sierra College studying Language.


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