Early detection of any communication impairment in a child is critical. The ability to communicate is essential to learning during their developmental years.
If you suspect your child may have a delay in communication development, an evaluation will provide valuable information. It is never too early to have your child evaluated. For children as young as 12-15 months, an evaluation can ease concerns and provide a base-line for follow-up visits to ensure continued progress.
These are just a few issues that parents may recognize their children are experiencing.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are severe disorders of development that can affect social interaction, communication, play, and learning.
ASDs represent three of the pervasive developmental disorders defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) and DSM-IV-TR (text revision):
- Autistic disorder
- Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified
- Asperger syndrome.
During the past decade, there has been growing national awareness and concern about the increase in the occurrences of ASD. Approximately 1 in 88 children meet the diagnostic criteria for one of the disorders listed above.
Individuals that have learned English as a second language may recognize the need for assistance pronouncing words in a more understandable manner. This need may occur even if an adult has been an English speaker for many years. The person may recognize the need to improve communication skills to enhance their public speaking or interpersonal communication skills.
A foreign language speaker wanting to improve their pronunciation can enter a classroom setting for ESL (English as a Second Language). This approach generally uses the method of listening to words pronounced correctly and then imitating that sound. Unfortunately, many people are unable to ‘imitate’ sounds, although they think they are saying a word correctly. However, the person can also reach out to a Speech Language Pathologist.
A Speech Pathologist is able to assist a bilingual adult that is seeking improved communication abilities, even though this problem is not considered a speech disorder. The need to improve an accent is considered a speech modification in Speech Language Pathology. A Speech Pathologist teaches the person ‘how’ to produce the sound…where to place the tongue and how to shape the lips so that the word is intelligible. For example, foreigner speakers often pronounce the words ‘cup’, ‘cop,’ and ‘cap’ the same way. There are subtle differences in tongue placement and duration of sound that change the word.