Dr Susanne Dopke
Speech and Language Pathology
The child talks very little or not at all.
Some children have difficulties developing language. There are a wide range of possible reasons. These may include
limited memory capacity for words;
difficulties integrating what they hear and see and feel;
a developmental disorder of which language delay is only a part.
Being bilingual DOES NOT CAUSE a language delay. For more information on bilingualism and language disorder,
It is important that a professional identifies the likely cause(s) of a language delay and designs a program targeted to the needs of the individual child and his or her family. The earlier this happens the faster and the better are the outcomes.
In some cases it might be difficult to identify the exact cause of a child's slow language development. But through progressive exclusion speech pathologists can narrow the possible causes down considerably.
Speech pathology programs for young children usually involve the parents or carers of the child. Speech pathologists teach parents how they can modify the way they talk and interact with the child in order to make the task of learning the language easier. This is NOT to say that it is the parents' fault that the child's language is delayed. RATHER, children with special needs need special help which is outside what parents usually know. Speech pathologists are here to help parents with identifying and addressing the special needs of some children.
For special considerations of the treatment of bilingual children, .