Language Processing Disorder

Difficulties Understanding Language Causes Reading & Learning Problems

Language processing disorder can have serious learning consequences, because language dexterity is at the front end of all learning — listening, comprehension, reading and thinking.  Inefficiencies in processing language, needed to attaching meaning to words, will significantly impact learning progress.

What is Language Processing Disorder?

language processing disorder in kidsLanguage processing disorder is used interchangeably with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) to describe difficulties identifying and retaining sounds after the ears have “heard” them.

However, language processing disorder is better defined more narrowly as a difficulty attaching meaning to sounds that form words, sentences and stories. It has been likened to hearing sound through water — words are not heard clearly.

Is Your Child An Auditory Learner?

Learning visually or by touch should not be a child’s first choice.  This is because most available information and communication in the first years of life are language-based.

All babies hear the language around them and so naturally start out trying to learn that language.  From there they rely on listening to learn, i.e., they become auditory learners.  If they are unable to learn through listening, they most likely have language processing disorders.

Auditory learning is every bit as important in middle school and higher.  By middle school, most children have learned the language and can listen accurately.  Learning however requires a higher level of language processing.  Learners must be able to listen, process and think critically.  This can be undermined by a language processing disorder.

Finally, we think in language.  Language is the “operating system” of the brain.  To the extent that our language processing is compromised our ability to think quickly and clearly is impaired.  In this way, language processing disorder can have a profound impact of a person’s life.

Symptoms Of Language Processing Disorders

Here are the most common signs of language processing disorder:

Difficulty Following Directions
If your child is processing language at a slower rate than a teacher or parent is talking, he will either miss information or just tune out.  This applies to following directions at home and listening in class.

Trouble Rhyming At An Early Age
Rhyming displays language dexterity. If your child had difficulty with rhyming at 3-4 years of age, this is an sign that speech and language processing skills may not be developing as expected.  Rhyming is the single most reliable predictor of future reading skills.  Children who cannot rhyme early on are at-risk readers.

Vocabulary, Pronunciation and Grammar Concerns
Children with language processing disorder tend to have under-developed vocabularies and poor grammar skills compared to their peers. This is because much of what they hear sounds muddy or unclear.  Naturally, they only use words they are sure they heard correctly, limiting the spoken vocabulary they will use.  Also, because they have to concentrate hard on listening, they have no capacity to absorb language conventions, hence the grammar and syntax issues.

Attention Deficits
A child who has difficulty listening in class will lose focus due to exhaustion and/or lack of interest. While this is often diagnosed as ADD or ADHD resulting in medication, very often poor focus is entirely due to language processing disorder.

Inconsistent Performance
Children with language processing difficulties often struggle in noisy environments such as classrooms. This sometimes results in up and down performance that is frustrating for parents and children.

Reading Difficulty
Reading requires accurate phonemic awareness, the ability to hear all the sounds inside words. This is a challenge for children with language processing disorder.  Inefficient decoding holds back reading fluency and then reading comprehension.  The vast majority of children with a language processing disorder develop reading problems.

Gemm Learning Helps Children With Language Processing Disorder

language processing disorders and readingGemm Learning provides Fast ForWord brain training software at home with personalized teacher support to help children 5 years and older with language and reading difficulties.

For Language Difficulties

Our program starts by tackling cognitive skills.  This includes auditory processing, working memory, listening accuracy, listening comprehension, attention, sequencing.  These are the foundational skills for receptive and expressive language.

For At Risk Readers

Our program has exercises that reduce the symptoms of language processing disorder, helping students build phonological awareness as required for decoding and reading comprehension.
Auditory processing and reading problems

To find out if your child is a candidate for our program, call one of our specialists for a free consult.