Language Skills Therapy

Language Skills Therapy

Jorge is 4 years old. It is hard to understand him when he talks. He is quiet when he speaks, and his sounds are not clear.

Vicki is in high school. She has had learning problems since she was young. She has trouble reading and writing and needs extra time to take tests.

Maryam had a stroke. She can only say one or two words at a time. She cannot tell her son what she wants and needs. She also has trouble following simple directions.

Louis also had a stroke. He is able to understand everything he hears and speaks in full sentences. The problem is that he has slurred speech and is hard to understand.

All of these people have trouble communicating. But their problems are different.

What Is Language?

Language refers to the words we use and how we use them to share ideas and get what we want. Language includes:

  • What words mean. Some words have more than one meaning. For example, “star” can be a bright object in the sky or someone famous.
  • How to make new words. For example, we can say “friend,” “friendly,” or “unfriendly” and mean something different.
  • How to put words together. For example, in English we say, “Peg walked to the new store” instead of “Peg walk store new.”
  • What we should say at different times. For example, we might be polite and say, “Would you mind moving your foot?” But, if the person does not move, we may say, “Get off my foot!”

Language and Speech Disorders

We can have trouble with speech, language, or both. Having trouble understanding what others say is a receptive language disorder. Having problems sharing our thoughts, ideas, and feelings is an expressive language disorder. It is possible to have both a receptive and an expressive language problem.

Jorge has a speech disorder that makes him hard to understand. So does Louis. The reason Tommy has trouble is different than the reason Louis does.

Maryam has a receptive and expressive language disorder. She does not understand what words mean and has trouble using words to talk to others.

Vicki also has a language disorder. Reading and writing are language skills. She could also have problems understanding others and using words well because of her learning disability.

ASHA, 2022

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