What are communication disorders in children?
A child with a communication disorder has trouble communicating with others. He or she might not understand or make the sounds of speech. The child can also struggle with word choice, ordering, or syntax.
There are several types of these disorders. They are:
Ø Mixed receptive-expressive language disorder. A child has developmental delays and problems understanding speech and speaking.
Ø Expressive language disorder. A child has developmental delays and problems speaking.
Ø Speech-sound disorders. A child features a hard time expressing words clearly past a particular age.
Ø Childhood-onset fluency disorder. This is also known as stuttering. It starts in childhood and may last throughout life.
Ø Social communication disorder. A child has trouble with verbal and nonverbal communication that's not caused by thinking problems.
What causes communication disorders in a child?
Communication disorders may be developmental. Or they can be caused by:
Ø Physical problems such as a problem in brain development
Ø Exposure to poisons (toxins) during pregnancy, such as street drugs or lead
Ø Gene problems
Which children are at risk for communication disorders?
Boys tend to be diagnosed with these disorders more often than girls. Researchers don’t know why. Children with these conditions often produce other psychological state problems.
What are the symptoms of communication disorders during a child?
Each child may have different symptoms. But these are the foremost common symptoms during a young child:
Ø Not speaking at all
Ø Limited word choice for his or her age
Ø Trouble grasping simple directions or naming objects
Most young children with these disorders are ready to speak by the time they enter school. But they still have problems with communicating.
School-aged children often have problems understanding and making words. Teens may have more trouble understanding or expressing abstract ideas.
These symptoms may look like other health problems. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How are communication disorders diagnosed in a child?
Most children with these disorders are mentioned a speech-language pathologist. This is a speech expert who treats children who are having problems communicating. Your child may also see a child psychiatrist. That is often the case if the kid has emotional or behavioral problems.
A full evaluation may involve:
Ø Psychological testing of thinking abilities
Ø Psychometric testing to check a child’s reasoning skills, reactions to different situations, and thinking. It does not test general knowledge.
How are communication disorders treated in a child?
Treatment will depend upon your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend upon how severe the condition is.
A speech-language pathologist will work together with your child to enhance his or her communication skills. Treatment is often a team effort. Parents, teachers, and psychological state experts can also be involved. Treatment may include:
Ø Individual or group support
Ø Special classes
When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
Call your child’s healthcare provider if your child has:
Ø Symptoms that don’t get better, or get worse
Ø New symptoms
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