According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, kids with speech delays are more vulnerable to developing behavioral, social, or emotional problems as adults.  The study, over a period of 29 years, showed that children as young as five years old, who were handicapped with receptive language skills, experienced more mental health problems by the time they were 34.

The psychological and social consequences of receptive language problems don’t disappear, but rather continue to plague the sufferer into adulthood. The attendant problems of children with these delays are more complicated than initially thought, and there is a need to focus on the complexity of emotionally related challenges that may accompany the child throughout his life.  

Receptive Language Delay Symptoms

Symptoms are related to either problems associated with vocabulary or faulty word memory. Aside from the child being unable to recall words just recently learned, the kid may be behind his peer group regarding vocabulary usage. Other signs include the repetition of questions and phrases.  Or the child might not be able to organize his thoughts or follow directions.

Receptive Language Delay Causes

Unfortunately, the understanding of what causes receptive language problems at a young age seems to be severely lacking. Whereas it may seem otherwise, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between receptive language challenges and the child’s intelligence. The condition may be a result of a brain injury, insufficient nutrition, or it may be hereditary.

What is the Parent’s Role?

As we all know, language is key to a child’s ability to make friends and socialize with other kids.  Receptive language delays can impede this critical dimension of the child’s healthy development promoting isolation that may remain on into adulthood.  These delays may impact holding onto a job or developing and sustaining relationships- recipes for mental health problems.

Parents should not become paralyzed when faced with this challenge.  They can do a lot for their child, even at such a tender age.  Sometimes it may be as simple as just paying attention or being patient when talking.  Taking the time to have a conversation or reading a book and discussing it can have a tremendous impact.

Early Intervention is Best

It is important to realize that a child who is handicapped by language delay may suffer from low self-esteem as well. This low self-esteem invariably will impact transitions from being childhood to adolescence and then onto adulthood. But don’t give up.  These children are by no means a lost cause.  They need the proper intervention, and they need it as soon as possible.

Telepractice: The Critical Role of the SLP

Enter teletherapy speech pathologists who are both knowledgeable and skilled at treating this disorder. They often have a specialty in helping those receptive language delays.  Before beginning treatment, the child will be evaluated for expressive learning disorder in addition to testing for a hearing impairment or learning disabilities as well.

Treatment will include strengthening the child’s skills and empowering him in absorbing, processing and retaining information.  This includes becoming more adept at seeing and hearing information, and then understanding and remembering it.  Speech therapists who use telepractice have an array of tools and materials to assist in mastering these crucial skills

Don’t Despair

While children who suffer from a receptive language disorder are more prone to developing severe psychological and social maladies as well, don’t despair.  Help is on the way once you realize that a well-trained speech therapist adept at the art of telepractice is only a call away.  While the problem may be great, rest assured that the solution is even greater!