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When we setup an initial consultation and/or evaluation, we will assess your child's speech and language skills and determine if there are speech language delays. Our analysis will target where your child is having difficulty with their speech and language development. Pinpointing the underlying difficulties is critical for effective treatment. In addition to language therapy, we provide ???? ????????

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Before a child speaks, he/she child relies on non-verbal communication, e.g. pointing, reaching, and handing an object to a parent. Babies and toddlers with communication delays- who are not ready to speak- first need help learning how to communicate non-verbally and some babies and toddlers need help with their social focus, called joint attention. Therapy focuses on increasing the frequency and improving the quality of the child's communicative gestures and improving their focus during social games/activities.

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Early expressive language development is characterized by the quantity and quality of the child’s vocabulary, and the manner in which a child combines words before speaking full sentences. Once the child is speaking in full sentences, his or her development is characterized in terms of how well the words are used to convey more complex ideas or thoughts.

Delays in early language development involve slower acquisition of sounds, words, combining words, less frequent social communicative attempts, and difficulty understanding cognitive or linguistic concepts (such as big vs. small, under vs next to, some vs all, or first vs. last). If a child is having significant expressive language issues compared to peers, this is known as an expressive language disorder (also known as spoken language disorder) or an expressive language delay (for children 4 years and younger). 

Unlike speech sound disorders, which involve difficulties in producing spoken sounds, language disorders refer to problems using spoken language compared to peers. These expressive problems manifest in at least one of these areas: spoken vocabulary, complexity of what the child is saying (grammar), and social use of words (pragmatics). These issues become more apparent when children, older than 4 years of age, have difficulties telling stories and making friends. 

Language Disorders are classified as two types: 

Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder – Difficulty with comprehension or understanding the words or complexity of what the individual understands compared to peers and has an expressive language disorder. 

Expressive Language Disorder – Receptively, the individual is age appropriate but there are significant issues expressing oneself compared to peers. 

There is no such thing as just a receptive language disorder. If a child is misdiagnosed with this label, either the child has significant attentional difficulties, or the child’s expressive language skills were not thoroughly assessed. Speech language pathologists are the best professionals to thoroughly assess expressive language skills. 

Spoken or expressive language disorder is a lifelong condition and appears in early childhood. It is often developmental in nature but may also be caused by traumatic brain injury. An individual with expressive language disorder exhibits normal comprehension skills but has difficulty with written and/or verbal expression. This can impair academic achievement and make it more difficult to socialize in groups with peers. 

 

What Are the Signs of an Expressive Language Disorder?

In many cases, signs of an expressive language disorder may may be invisible to parents and teachers. Some signs and behaviors may not directly imply a language problem. Children with an expressive language disorder may:

  • have less developed vocabulary than their peers
  • often say fillers like “um,” “uh,” and “huh”
  • have no problems with understanding, but struggle with speaking, asking questions, or answering
  • use short phrases or sentences or say the same words or phrases over and over;
  • struggle with telling stories
  • for toddlers, relies on using gestures
  • lack intonation and modulation when talking
  • shy away from conversation and avoid social situations or group interactions
  • may say a lot but not make much sense

 

Diagnosing Expressive Language Disorder

As with all speech or language disorders, it is always important to first ensure that there are no hearing issues affecting language development. A hearing assessment by an audiologist is necessary to rule out any issues with hearing (ears). Even undetected ear infections can interfere with acquiring language in younger children. 

To get your child diagnosed with an expressive language disorder, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) must do a thorough evaluation. A comprehensive assessment must be conducted with the help of the child’s family and teachers. 

During this phase, speech language pathologists will need to know the child’s:

  • full case history (including birth and medical records; history of language, speech, reading, or academic difficulties in the family; languages or dialects spoken at home; and, the family’s and teacher’s own observations and concerns)
  • spoken language skills (phonology and phonological awareness, semantics, morphology, syntax, and pragmatics)
  • level of reading and writing (if the child is school age) 

 

How to Treat Expressive Language Disorder

Once a diagnosis is made, the SLP will conduct further analysis and observations before creating an individualized program. However, it is important to remember that therapy will not offer a permanent “cure” for the disorder. Instead, SLPs can equip children with strategies and techniques to help them manage their condition. 

Therapy methods can vary, depending on the therapist and the child’s needs. Modeling target behavior is one technique where the therapist models and reinforces aspects of speech that need to be targeted, such as sounds, vocabulary, and grammatical structure.

Some areas that SLPs address are:

For preschoolers (ages 3 to 5):

  • enhancing phonological awareness through rhyming, blending, and segmenting spoken words
  • improving vocabulary and understanding of semantic relationships
  • increasing sentence types, length, and complexity
  • improving conversational skills
  • developing narrative skills
  • increasing language flexibility in different contexts
  • building and encouraging literacy skills

 

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Before a child speaks, he/she child relies on non-verbal communication, e.g. pointing, reaching, and handing an object to a parent. Babies and toddlers with communication delays- who are not ready to speak- first need help learning how to communicate non-verbally and some babies and toddlers need help with their social focus, called joint attention. Therapy focuses on increasing the frequency and improving the quality of the child's communicative gestures and improving their focus during social games/activities.

?????????

Early expressive language development is characterized by the quantity and quality of the child's vocabulary, and the manner in which a child combines words before speaking full sentences. Once the child is speaking in full sentences, his/her development is characterized in terms of how well words are used to convey more complex ideas/thoughts.

Delays in early language development are characterized by slower acquisition of sounds, words, combining words, less frequent social communicative attempts, and difficulty understanding cognitive/linguistic concepts, e.g. big vs. small, under, vs next to, some, vs all, or first, vs. last.

Schedule a free consultation today!

Phone: (347) -394-3485

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????? info@brooklynletters.com

Our speech-language pathologists are ready to help you!