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January 19, 2022 Wednesday 03:43:44 PM IST

How to Deal with Developmental Language Disorder in Children

Humans use language to share ideas and feelings as well as to understand the ideas and feelings of other people. Most of us use language every single day without ever stopping to think about it. Now imagine what it would be like to struggle to understand what people are saying to you or to put your thoughts into words. Developmental language disorder, or DLD for short, is a hidden but very common condition that means a child has difficulty using and/or understanding language. Children with DLD have language abilities that fall behind those of other children their age, even though they are often just as smart.

It is estimated that one in 14 children has a developmental language disorder. The language difficulties of children with this disorder are not the result of other conditions (such as intellectual disabilities or disorders like Down's syndrome), but they do affect the children's social and/or academic development and have an impact on their day-to-day activities. Researchers point out that saying that children's language difficulties are caused by parents who do not have time to talk to their children can lead to misunderstandings about the causes of the disorder and even create more anxiety. 

Given here are some examples that the parents could follow at home to alleviate DLD in children

• Ensuring you have your child’s full attention before speaking to them.

• Breaking down instructions into smaller parts.

• Give your child extra time to think before they respond to a question.

• Showing or demonstrating what you mean.

• Avoid asking too many questions, and instead of making comments about what your child is doing.

• If they make mistakes when talking, repeat it back to them correctly, in a positive way.

• Checking that your child has understood what you’ve said or asked them to do.