Areas of Concern 

Speech Pathologists work with children with a range of Communication Difficulties which include the following:

 

Speech Difficulties (Developmental): Occurs when children have difficulty producing and understanding speech sounds correctly.


There are three common speech difficulties which may co-occur:

  1. Articulation: difficulty producing sounds due to the incorrect movement of the lips, tongue, and mouth e.g. they may lisp, so that 's' sounds like 'th' or they can't make the r sound and say 'wabbit' instead of 'rabbit'. 

  2. Phonological: Children are able to make the sounds correctly, but they may use it in the wrong position in a word, or in the wrong word, e.g. a child may use the d sound instead of the g sound, and so they say 'doe' instead of 'go'.

  3. Fluency:

  • Stuttering: an interruption in the flow of speaking characterised by repetitions (sounds, syllables, words, phrases), sound prolongations, blocks, interjections, and revisions, which may affect the rate and rhythm of speech

 

Language Difficulties (Developmental): 

  • Receptive: Difficulty understanding others, following instructions,  sharing thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

  • Expressive: Difficulty using language in functional and socially appropriate ways.

*Language disorders may also be in the written form and can co-occur.
 

Social Communication difficulties: Occurs when individuals have trouble with the social aspect of verbal and non-verbal communication.

  • Those with social communication difficulties have difficulty:

  • Communicating with others socially (e.g. greeting others, asking questions, eye-contact)

  • Changing their way of communicating depending on the listener or setting

  • Following socially acceptable rules of conversation and storytelling e.g. turn-taking, body language.

  • Many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders struggle with social communication and this may account for their difficulty with social communication skills
     

Literacy Difficulties: Occurs when individuals have trouble with reading, writing, knowing letters and sounding out words. Also referred to as Phonological and/or Phonemic awareness skills. *Specialised literacy programs not available at Kids Inspired at this stage.

 

In children, the cause of communication disorders is often unknown. Some factors which may contribute include:  

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Syndromes, such as Down’s Syndrome and Fragile X syndrome

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Failure to thrive

  • Low birth weight or premature birth

  • Hearing loss

  • Intellectual disabilities

  • A Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder

  • Brain injury

  • Tumours

  • Cleft lip/palate

  • A family history of speech, language, literacy difficulties.

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