Language has to do with meanings, rather than sounds. A language delay is when a child’s language is developing in the right sequence, but at a slower rate. A language disorder describes atypical language development.

When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she may have a language difficulties.

Specific language difficulties can include:

  • Problems with following instructions
  • A reduced understanding words, sentences and/or concepts
  • Difficulties answering questions
  • Difficulties recalling or remembering information      
  • Difficulties using words
  • Grammatical errors
  • Difficulties expressing ideas or generating stories 

An individual use appropriate language that is accurate in content and structure but continue to struggle to use language in social situations.  This is referred to as pragmatics. Both adults and children can present with deficits in the area of pragmatics. In order to successfully use pragmatics individuals not only must use language they must be able to adapt their content and presentation of this language according to the needs of the listener or the communicative situation. In addition to the use an adaption of language individuals must be able to follow appropriate conversation rules.

Specific pragmatic difficulties can include:

  • Making socially inappropriate remarks or comments during conversations
  • Disorganisation when telling/recalling stories
  • Limited variety in language use

Headstart Speech Pathologists can assess language skills and develop an appropriate therapeutic program.