Communication & Language Delay in Children
Children communicate in many ways. Language and communication help us to socialise and express our needs. Babies use sounds, facial expressions and hand or arm gestures to express the way they are feeling. As they grow older their language skills gradually begin to develop and they will use more complex gestures such as pointing at objects. Language allows the child to express themselves and communicate. Alongside speech, reading, writing, drawing and signing are all important parts of a Childs language development. It is important to identify any delay in language or communication in a Child as soon as possible. Children need to be able to communicate with others in order to express their needs and develop their social skills. Delayed language or communication can have a big impact on all other areas of development and cause behavioural problems for the child born from frustration. A child who is unable to express themselves clearly may display disruptive or aggressive behaviour as they become frustrated that they are not being understood. They might be disciplined for their behaviour if their carer does not realise why they are acting up and brands them as a difficult child. This will cause the child to loose confidence and develop low self esteem. They may also become clingy to their parent or carer, be prone to tearful outbursts and have difficulty socialising with peers. A child with hearing difficulties may appear to be in their own little world and not respond when their name is called. They may also struggle to follow simple instructions or have trouble pronouncing words. Children who can not understand or hear what is being said to them will miss out on vital learning opportunities. The Childs overall wellbeing will suffer as they will feel isolated and upset. The child may withdraw from groups and not want to participate therefore missing out on learning important social skills. Delayed language and communication can also be a sign that there is something more seriously wrong with the child that may require treatment or specialist help such as a hearing impairment or learning difficulties. If the correct help or treatment is not supplied for the child in a timely fashion it will have a knock on effect that will delay their emotional, social and even physical development. It is therefore vitally important that child care practitioners are aware of the signs of communication and language delay in children and are equipped with the right tools and information to be able to help the children and their families. The practitioner needs to be calm, flexible and patient. A child with language difficulties will need extra support that should be tailored to their individual needs and plenty of positive encouragement and reinforcement to help build their confidence. The child may be able to take you to objects that they want or express their need by looking or pointing at objects. Some children may need help when playing alongside others. The Practitioner may need to stay close so that they can help them when they have trouble expressing themselves as well as teaching the children around them to be patient and help them to understand the child. A Childs language could be delayed for many reasons some of these reasons are detailed below: * Hearing impairments – This is a common reason for a delay in language development. There are many different types of impairments ranging from non-permanent conditions such as glue ear to permanent partial of full hearing loss. A child with hearing loss will often withdraw in to themselves and not want to interact with the outside world as they struggle to understand it. The cause of the loss needs to be established quickly so the child can receive the right treatment so their development does not suffer. Non-permanent conditions may be easily treated by a GP, whereas permanent conditions may require specialist help and hearing aids. The...
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