What is Language Processing Disorder (LPD), what are the causes and how it is treated? This blog will cover the basics to hopefully clear some confusion about the LPD.
I just went to a fabulous workshop by Suzanne Foley, who is an Audiologist. She discussed the differences between a language processing disorder, auditory processing disorder and attention deficit disorder.
Even as a speech-language pathologist, I can get confused about which disorder is which so I can imagine it is extremely confusing for parents and other professionals to distinguish between the three.
To start, I wanted to cover the basics of language processing disorder. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders at my high school. In fact, this year alone, I have received about 10 general education students who are bombing their current courses for an unknown reason. Once assessed, I can tell there’s a breakdown in their processing of oral and written language.
A Language Processing problem is difficulty with accessing acquired language abilities (i.e. vocabulary) and efficiently integrating those skills to formulate a response (verbal, written, gesture, or behavior).Gail Richard
If your child is having difficulty with reading, communication, following multi-step directions, can’t remember and are distracted, they may have a language processing disorder.
There are several key characteristics of someone who has a language processing disorder. Once a child hits preschool age, these characteristics are much more visible, especially when compared to their same-aged peers.
These behaviors may include:
Although there isn’t one specific cause for LPD, there are some commonalities that children who are diagnosed share. These items include:
|Indicator||0 Points||1 Point||2 Points|
|Appearance (skin color)||Blue; Pale||Pink Body; Blue Extremities||Pink|
|Pulse||Absent||Below 100 bpm||Over 100 bpm|
|Grimace (reflex iritability)||Floppy||Minimal Response to Stimulation||Prompt Response to Stimulation|
|Activity (muscle tone)||Absent||Flexed Arms and Legs||Active|
|Respiration||Absent||Slow and Irregular||Vigorous Cry|
I typically gear my suggestion section of the blogs for what you can do at home, but I think it’s important to talk about what teachers can do for your child if they are diagnosed with LPD.
If modifications are not made in the classroom setting, your child will exhibit behaviors at home from being frustrated and overwhelmed. Although these strategies are geared towards school, you can most definitely adapt them for the home environment.
Get personalized feedback on your child’s speech progress.
Please do not penalize the child for not verbally responding. They may not always understand what is being asked of them or what is being discussed. By not responding, this gives them time to process and decreases the chance that they will be embarrassed in front of their classmates, peers and friends.
If the student does raise their hand or attempt to answer a question, call on that student first and help them answer if they are struggling. Provide a multiple choice response or provide cues to what the answer is. This also goes for the home environment. If your child cannot make a decision, give them several choices such as, “do you want to go to the park or the movies?”
You should never assume that your child understands the vocabulary that you are using at home or that they are learning in the classroom setting. You should divide, identify, organize, arrange and describe any new words that are being introduced.
In addition to these suggestions, make sure you are talking to your child’s teacher and speech-language pathologist. They will give you worksheets and valuable insight as to what your child is or is not doing. The speech pathologist will also provide more in depth information regarding language processing disorder!
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