Unit number: CYP Core 3
4.1 Analyse the importance of early identification of speech, language and communication delays and disorders and the potential risks of late recognition. It is essential that speech, language and communication delays and disorders are noticed early so the relevant interventions can be used to support the child or young person. Answer the questions below.
1. How can observation be used to identify speech, language and communication delays? 2. What should you do if you have concerns about a child’s development of speech, language and communication skills? 3. What would be the risks if these delays were not identified? Use your answers to help you analyse the importance of early identification of speech, language and communication delays and disorders and the potential risks in late recognition.
The early years are a time for rapid learning and development in a child’s life. Language is very important to learning since it helps the child to store information in an organized way and to express the child’s thoughts. If a child has difficulty in communicating with others due to a speech and language delay or disorder the child will be at a disadvantage. The child will have many problems.
The child may fail to understand instructions given by the adult and this may be interpreted as misbehaviour. For example the child has been instructed to put away the task and line up to go for the music lesson to another room at school. However the child has not understood what has to be done because of his inability to process the information. Instead the child goes and has a drink of water and takes out his lunch box.
Teaching in schools is usually done through verbal description and instruction. The adult presents learning situations with the use of language or speech. Failure to understand means the child will be unable to store or use information provided. For example the child has to play a board game with three other children and so has to follow specific instructions shown by the adult according to the rules of the game.
A child with language delay has limited resources for demonstrating knowledge and explaining their reasoning. For example the child wants to explain to the teacher the properties of a three dimension solid but finds it difficult to do so because of language delay.
Oral language serves as a precursor to literary skills. For example the child first has to be a good communicator and then uses this skill to interact with others. Then the child uses vocabulary to understand and experience stories, songs, poems and rhymes. The child begins to enjoy reading and writing.
Language ability is central to the ability to establish friendship with other children. The child has to be able to communicate and talk to his peers and form social relationships with them. For example the children use language to imagine at role play and develop social skills.
There are a number of reasons why children experience difficulties and delays in speech, language and communication development.
The causes may be due to ear infection where the child is unable to hear words or hear distorted sounds, or find it confusing and tiring to focus on verbal communication. The ear fluid may pose a problem for the child and sounds are muffled and not clear to the child’s hearing.
The child may be experiencing specific difficulty in using their oral muscles effectively and this may affect speech. For example a child with cerebral palsy does not have much control over the mouth and the muscles around it and so cannot form the words properly. The child may say ‘b’ sound instead of ‘v’ and so the meaning of the word could be totally different-base for vase.
Sometimes speech and language difficulties are passed down families. For example stammering or lisping.
Problem’s during pregnancy and birth can also affect the child’s developing...