Language delay and impairment

How we can help people with language delay and impairment

Language delay and impairment are a delay and impairment to the normal development of language.

What is language delay and impairment?

Language delay is when language develops in the normal pattern of development but at a slower rate.

Language impairment is where language is severely behind the typical population, and may not follow the normal pattern of development.

Language delay and impairment is usually present in childhood and can continue to affect an individual communicative ability throughout their life.

Common characteristics of language delay and impairment can include:

What conditions can cause language delay and impairment?

There are many conditions which can cause language delay and impairment. Conditions in adults which may cause language delay or impairment include:

How are language delay and impairment diagnosed?

Language delay and impairment are diagnosed by a speech and language therapist. The speech and language therapist will carry out an initial assessment to assess if an individual has language delay and impairment. This assessment will determine the severity of the language delay and impairment and will also help in deciding what the best form of treatment will be for the individual.

How can speech and language therapy help with language delay and impairment?

Speech and language therapy can be very beneficial for individuals with language delay and impairment. The main aim of speech and language therapy for an individual with language delay and impairment is to maximise their communicative ability.

The speech and language therapist will work closely with the individual and also the individual’s family in ensuring the individual gains the best outcome regarding their speech, language and communication needs.

Speech and language therapy will be individualised for each client and will consider factors such as their current and past communication abilities and also the underlying condition causing their language delay and impairment.

What speech and language therapy treatment can benefit language delay and impairment?

There are many different types of speech and language therapy which can help and support an individual with language delay and impairment.

Each individual with language delay and impairment will receive an individualised treatment plan. This treatment plan will be specifically tailored to the individual’s speech, language and communication needs and will consider many factors, including the individual’s underlying cause of their language delay and impairment.

Types of speech and language therapy treatments that are available for individuals with language delay and impairment can include:

Training

Training involves training for individuals, parents, carers and other professionals involved in the individual’s care, regarding their speech, language and communication needs.

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Consultative role

A consultative role will include advice and support for the individual, their parents, carers and other professionals involved in their care regarding their speech, language and communication needs. The speech and language therapist may also provide information on compensatory strategies for the patient and their carer or parent to help support and maximise their communicative abilities.

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Home programmes

Home programmes will include take home activities, which will help the patient and their parents or carers practise skills learnt in therapy. The speech and language therapist can provide home programmes on communication, for parents, carers and the individual, in helping them to maximise their communicative ability. School programmes can also be given to help support the individual in their educational environment.

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One to one therapy

One to one therapy will provide intensive one to one treatment for the individual. One to one therapy will work on individual tasks in helping to maximise the individual’s communication. One to one therapy can include receptive tasks, which work on the individual’s understanding of spoken language. One to one therapy may also work on expressive tasks, which work on the individual’s expressive communication including gesture and writing.

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Total communication

A total communication approach works on all available communicative forms the patient has including, verbal, written and non-verbal communication.

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Group therapy

Group therapy is where the individual and other clients with similar difficulties receive therapy together. Group therapy can often help in later stages of therapy and increase the individual’s motivation, social skills and also help generalise the skills learnt in one to one therapy.

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Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems will be used for patients with severe communication problems, or if the patient is non-verbal. Examples of alternative forms of communication include, alphabet charts, sign language and hi-tech voice aids.

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Speech and language therapy may also include the following:

Summary

Language delay and impairment is a delay or impairment to the development of language, this is usually present in childhood and can also affect adults. Language delay and impairment will affect an individual’s ability to communicate effectively. The speech and language therapist will individualise a treatment plan for each individual. The main focus of speech and language therapy will be to maximise the individual’s communicative ability.

If you feel you may benefit from speech and language therapy or would like any more information on our services please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 088 5643.

Speech, language and communication

We are able to help individuals with speech, language or communication difficulties and disorders across the UK.

Skype therapy

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If you need any more information on the services we offer or the conditions we are able to help, do not hesistate to contact us.

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