LITERACY AND LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES IN SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

Speech Therapy for Children

Speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) play a significant role assessing and treating language difficulties in school-aged children.

An child’s knowledge of language, including complex language development (ambiguity, expressing the main idea or summarizing, telling a story), is necessary to support curriculum learning and social development. Adequate language skills are critical for school and social success.

Some important considerations include the following:

  • Symbolic and academic skills are built on speech, language and auditory abilities
  • The ability to express oneself verbally impacts written expression
  • The ability to understand language impacts a child’s reading ability
  • Language difficulties are a major aspect of many reading and writing disabilities, sometimes as the cause and sometimes as the consequence
  • Higher level language difficulties in areas such as sarcasm, ambiguity and humour are sometimes difficult to assess in everyday environments
  • Telling a story with a beginning, middle and end , presenting a point of view and describing a procedure involve complex language skills

In school-aged children, language difficulties often become obvious as children begin reading and writing. Some students may have a delay in grammar skills and some students have language–based learning difficulties. In all instances, a speech-language pathologist can have an important role in assessment and treatment. An S-LP plays a very important role in ensuring that your child reaches his/her potential for adequate school, home and social communication.

An S-LP can assess your child’s speech, expressive and receptive language, reading and writing, and cognitive skills underlying language skills, such as verbal memory (e.g. memory for instructional language). Assessment of other skills such as the ability to tell a story, express a point of view (related to persuasive essays and debates) are also areas that an S-LP may evaluate. The language involved in complex social communication for school success is another important aspect of the S-LP assessment.

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