February 22, 2016

Child Speech Therapy: Language Disorders

Language disorder is an impairment of spoken, written, or comprehension of language. A child with a language disorder may show delays in language milestones throughout their toddler and preschool age. It may involve the content, form, and function of language. With the assistance of Child Speech Therapy, a child with a language disorder can learn to communicate to their best ability while overcoming daily life challenges. Below is a brief description of prevalent types of language disorders.
  • Specific Language Impairment (SLI): SLI is a specific language disorder that occurs on its own, without another disorder. It includes difficulty with grammatical production and comprehension, slow vocabulary development, and inconsistent skills in production and comprehension. SLI is diagnosed after a child’s 3rdbirthday. There is no known cause for SLI.
  • Apraxia of Speech:It is a motor speech disorder that is caused from a lack of brain to muscle communication. It is not due to a weakness in muscle strength. A child knows what to say, but the brain has difficulty moving the appropriate muscles to form words. 

  • Auditory Processing Disorder: APD is defined as how the central nervous system comprehends auditory information. It may result in complications of understanding speech sounds, especially in noisy environments. 

  • AutismChild may significantly struggle with social interaction and communication. Engagement in repetitive behaviors is a main symptom of autism.  A delay in speech and communication can be an early sign of autism. 
  • Hearing Loss: Children should be tested at an early age for hearing loss, as it might be correlated to a speech delay. Children with hearing loss may hear a word differently and form  sounds accordingly. 

  • Intellectual Disability: Intellectual disability is a condition of an incomplete development of the mind. It causes a delay in typical developments. It might take children with intellectual disabilities a longer time to verbalize their wants and needs. They may also struggle with forming words. 

  • Selective Mutism: A child who struggles with talking in certain situations. In most cases, students may not talk in school, but they do at home. 

  • Brain Injury: A brain injury is a traumatic damage or insult to an individual’s brain. According to Communication
  • Science and Disorders: A Clinical Evidence-Based Approach, approximately 1.5 millions of people each year are
  • affected by brain injuries. Brain injuries may occur in utero or can be acquired any time in a child’s life. The effects
  • on language are influenced by the severity of the injury and site of damage.
In order to determine your child’s speech delay, it is important to receive a diagnosis. Here at Step by Step Care Group, we have licensed therapists in Chicago who can assess the specific needs of your child and customize your child’s speech therapy plan accordingly.


Bellis PhD, Teri James. “Understanding Auditory Processing Disorders in Children.” Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) in Children. American Speech- Language- Hearing Associations, n.d. Web. 22 June 2015.

“Childhood Apraxia of Speech.” Childhood Apraxia of Speech. American Speech- Language- Hearing Associations, n.d. Web. 22 June 2015.
“Facts about Intellectual Disability.” Intellectual Disability (2013): n. pag. Cdc.gov. CDC. Web. 22 June 2015.

Justice, Laura M., and Erin E. Redle. “Language Disorders in Early and Later Childhood.Communication Sciences and Disorders: A Clinical Evidence- Based Approach. Third ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, NJ. 198-231. Print.

“University of Michigan Health System.” Speech and Language Delay and Disorder: Your Child:. University of Michigan Health System, n.d. Web. 22 June 2015.

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