Learn about language processing disorder
- Recognize the symptoms in children
- Language processing treatment options
Language Processing Disorder
Definition, Symptoms & Treatment Options for Children
Language processing is at the heart of all learning. It defines the early listening skills needed to learn the language and then to absorb information in the world around us. We think in language, and language skills directly impact reading. Any difficulties, such as language processing disorder, can have serious learning consequences.
What is Language Processing Disorder?
Language processing disorder is often 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 sound groups that form words, sentences and stories -- the term focuses on language aspects of CAPD only.
Symptoms Of Language Disorders In Children
Individuals with language processing difficulties are at risk readers and are prone to the other behavioral traits associated with CAPD. Here are some of the symptoms of auditory processing issues that show up in receptive or expressive language.
Difficulty Following Directions
This is the classic receptive language disorder symptom in children. If your child is processing at one speed but you or a teacher is talking at a faster speed, your child will either miss large chunks of information or will just tune out.
Trouble Rhyming At An Early Age
Rhyming displays language dexterity. If your child had difficulty with rhyming at around three years old, this is an indication that speech and language processing skills may not be developing as expected.
Vocabulary, Pronunciation and Language Structure Concerns
Children will only use words they are sure they heard right and understand. Consequently, children with weak language processing skills tend to have under-developed vocabularies compared to their peers and/or inconsistent pronunciation skills. A weakness in grammar, syntax or language conventions is often symptomatic of a language processing disorder. A child who struggles to process language is often preoccupied with hearing the words. There is no thinking capacity to observe how language conventions are used.
A child who has difficulty listening in class may also struggle to stay engaged because it is exhausting to listen and/or uninteresting if chunks are missed. While this behavior is often diagnosed as ADD or ADHD and it is treated separately from a language or reading problem, very often poor focus is entirely due to the underlying auditory processing disorder.
Children with auditory processing disorder often struggle in noisy environments such as classrooms. This sometimes results in up and down performance that is frustrating for parents and children.
Is Your Child An Auditory Learner?
Children start out by necessity as auditory learners. While there is some visual input, listening is how we learn a language and its nuances; it's how we gather information from parents, peers and teachers, and it's how we learn to read.
If your child is not a so-called "auditory" learner, it indicates an auditory difficulty. Learning visually is not a brain's first choice -- so much is missed visually. It's a fall-back approach for children if language processing disorders are impeding accurate and/or comfortable listening. If your child is a visual learner or a tactile learner, this in itself is a symptom of a receptive language disorder.
Efficient receptive language processing is equally important in middle school and higher even though reading to learn is in full force by that time. In later grades, listening in class must be metacognitive, i.e., a student must be able to think critically while listening. If he/she still has an inefficient listening style, metacognition, an essential learning skill, will not develop as it should.
Language Processing Disorder Treatment
Gemm Learning provides Fast ForWord software at home with personalized teacher support to help children 5 years and older with language difficulties, and related reading and learning issues such as focus and working memory delays.
For Language Difficulties
Fast ForWord starts by tackling the cognitive skills -- processing, working memory, listening accuracy, listening comprehension, attention, sequencing -- required for receptive and expressive language.
While almost all children with language processing difficulties are at risk readers, and so the reading programs in the second portion of our typical program plans have value, we have language focused protocols for children where language -- receptive, vocabulary, conversation response rate, expressive language -- is the primary concern.
Learn about our speech and language program
For At Risk Readers
To learn more about how auditory processing disorder impacts phonological awareness, decoding and reading comprehension, click this link:
Auditory processing and reading problems
Find Out If We Can Help
To find out if your child is a candidate for our language processing disorder treatment, call Monday-Friday, 9AM to 6PM EST, or email a question here:
Contact Gemm Learning.