My Child Was Just Diagnosed With a Language Disorder. Now What?
The Understood Team
If you just found out your child has a
language disorder, you might have a lot of questions about what to do next. Whether your child has
, or both (mixed receptive-expressive language issues), follow these steps for ideas on how best to support your child.
Learn all you can about your child’s language disorder.
Understanding how your child’s language disorder affects her makes it easier to know how to help. Maybe she has trouble
following directions or seems uninterested when others are talking. Or she might have trouble
finding the right words to say and explaining something that happened in a sequential way.
SLPs can help kids learn to speak in longer, more complex sentences and explain events in a logical sequence. They can help kids learn the vocabulary of everyday directions and improve active listening skills. SLPs can also show you how to work with your child at home. If your child is in preschool, find out how
preschoolers may be eligible for free speech therapy.
Avoid COVID Slide with tips and tools designed to help your child return to the classroom.
Talk about what supports and services might be helpful. An IEP might include speech therapy or social skills goals. If your child
doesn’t qualify for an IEP or a 504 plan, talk to the school about
informal supports that could help. And if the school hasn’t yet evaluated your child, find out
how to request a free evaluation.
Having a language disorder can make it hard to engage in everyday conversations. Your child might have trouble putting thoughts into words or misunderstand what others are saying. These kinds of obstacles can impact your child socially—and emotionally. So it’s important to keep an eye out for
signs of anxiety and depression. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s doctor if you have concerns.
Learn how to help your child at home.
How to help your child will depend on your child’s age and specific struggles with language. If you have a young child, for example, it may help to repeat back short phrases she uses, and then expand what she says into a longer sentence. You can ask the SLP for more strategies.
Connect with your local
Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) to learn about potential services near you. And consider reaching out to other parents of kids with language disorders in
our online community. They can share helpful tips and experiences, and you can ask questions (and get answers from experts).