I am a Mum of a 10 year old boy who has a Severe Language Delay and Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).
My son was never formally diagnosed with a delay until around four years of age. I knew. It seemed quite obvious that something wasn’t right. He didn’t reach those ‘normal’ speech milestones that toddlers do, but my GP kept telling me he’s a boy, boys are slower to develop than girls etc, so we just progressed with no intervention and gave him some time.
There was something more to it – call it ‘mothers intuition’ but I knew there was a problem – that’s where my journey began and I’m still on that journey.
Seeking and finding out information for him, for me. Watching and supporting his
development, meeting new people, finding speech pathologists and other dedicated specialists has left my head in a spin at times. There is also a large emotional roller coaster you are on as a mother. This was where by idea started to set up Language Delay Network.
So what exactly is a Language Delay?
When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder/delay.
Both children and adults can have speech and language disorders. They can occur as a result of a medical problem or have no known cause.
* Source: American Speech and Language Hearing Association
So why does it matter whether or not you get intervention if your child has a language delay?
Firstly, kid’s speech matters.
With no intervention there are obvious learning difficulties which can lead to and can be the result of behavioural issues and frustrations. Imagine not being able to say what you want. Or not being able to understand what is going on around you feeling like at times it a foreign language? This is what it can be like for a child with a language delay.
In my son’s case he was speaking jargon or he would repeat back to you partly what you said. He didn’t make sense but that was because he wasn’t able to hear the spoken words clearly. Once this was rectified with grommets he was on his way to hearing and learning – he was 4.5yrs. He has exceptional visual skills and relies on them most of the time. It gives him the assistance needed to work out what is going on but you do need to be able to read and write to get on in the world.
So he has ‘winged it’ at the best of times and got himself through. As he stepped into Year 4 this year – winging it isn’t going to cut it.
He has developed and progressed very well, is able to read, works on the computer independently, interacts appropriately socially and joins in with the class activities. He has required constant intervention at school and home to assist with this learning.
Article written by Sandra Ahlquist,
Owner Language Delay Network
Sandra is a busy Mum of two and whilst not juggling the rounds of drop offs to carers, school and sports she finds time to run her website Language Delay Network. Sandra’s eldest child has a severe language disorder and an auditory processing disorder and it’s been on her quest to source information for knowledge, education and be able to advocate for her son that inspired her to start the blog in March 2010. It is her passion to share her information and to be a ‘one stop shop’ for other parents, teachers and parents on the topic of learning and language disabilities in children.
When not blogging Sandra also run’s her own marketing consultancy after choosing to leave the corporate world in 2010 and works with Marketing Angels in Melbourne. One busy working Mum but when away from the keyboard you will find her at the beach, with the family just chilling out.
About LDN Network:
An information source and network on Language and Speech Delay, Language Disorders, Learning Disabilities and Auditory Processing Disorders in Children.