What is Language Processing?

Language processing refers to the way a child will manage the interpretation and understanding of the spoken and/or written word, critical attention, learning and socialization.  

What is a Language Processing Disorder (LPD)?

A LPD will often contribute to a child’s delay in communication and is frequently the major area of concern in the diagnosis of a language based learning disability.  This may further contribute to a child’s inability to understanding conversation, follow extended verbal directions, and express himself/herself appropriately. A child who may have a LPD may also experience problems with speech development, spelling, writing and especially with reading and reading comprehension.  In addition, a LPD can cause a child to experience difficulty with verbally based math problems and can contribute to problems with understanding figurative language. For example, the child may not understand a joke, or understand the intended meaning of such idiomatic expressions as: “It’s raining cats and dogs.”  

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Language Processing Disorder
What are the Signs of a Language Processing Disorder?
1. Delays in developmental speech milestones.

2. The child may have difficulty reading words silently and out loud; and with reading comprehension.

3. Word retrieval difficulties – the child can not remember the intended word and may try to describe 
    the word instead. For example, the child may say, “the rain thing”, instead of the word “umbrella”.

4. The child may take a long time to answer or respond to a question.

5. The child may have difficulty following more than one direction at a time or complicated directions.

6. The child may have difficulty understanding humor or a joke, and/or idioms, such as “I am 
    so hungry, I can eat a horse”.

7. The child may respond with “what” or “huh” very often because more time is needed to 
    process the information.

8. The child may demonstrate difficulties with mathematical word solving problems

9. The child may have difficulty with socialization.

10. Academic difficulties may also present during note taking and when only auditory information 
      is provided in the absence of visual cues such as pictures.

How is a Language Processing Disorder Diagnosed?

A language processing disorder is confirmed following a battery of tests administered by a licensed speech-language pathologist. It is important to understand the importance of a hearing test which should be conducted by the Audiologist prior to the language assessment. A peripheral hearing loss should be ruled out, thereby, eliminating hearing loss as a contributing factor to processing difficulties. 

Following the completion of a thorough case history and a hearing test, the Speech Pathologist will administer a variety of tests used to critically assess the individual’s language processing skills in the areas of auditory memory, phonological awareness, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, written formulation, comprehension of language concepts, reading comprehension and mathematical problems solving. Once the assessment is completed and the findings are interpreted, the Speech Pathologist will prepare a therapeutic plan of intervention.

What are the Causes of a Language Processing  Disorder?

Some causes of language processing disorders are the following:

1. Maturational delay
2. Hereditary or genetic based
3. Neurologically based
4. Secondary or related to auditory deprivation resulting from such things as 
    chronic ear infections occurring during the first few years of life.

What members may be involved as part of the team to determine if a processing disorder exists?

  1. Audiologist - evaluates hearing as well as central auditory processing skills related to auditory short term memory, 
       auditory figure ground, auditory sequencing, auditory discrimination and auditory closure.
  2. Speech-Language Pathologist - evaluates language abilities including reading and writing skills. 
  3. Neuropsychologist - evaluates intelligence as well as cognitive abilities.
  4. Physician - rules out medical problems that may effect learning.
  5. Teacher - assesses and monitors academic skills as well as behavior.
  6. Parent(s) - provide information regarding developmental milestones, auditory behavior in the home, and medical 
      as well as academic history.

What can be done for a child with a processing disorder?

The child with CAPD or LPD will need to learn strategies that will help in coping in an educational environment. Children with processing difficulties must be taught in a different way in order to compensate for poor auditory processing abilities.

The strategies must be used on a consistent basis in the child’s home, in the child’s school and in all other aspects of the child’s life, in order to promote learning and improved academic performance, to improve communication in social situations, and to reduce frustration which the child may be experiencing.

What You Should Do if a Language Processing Disorder is Suspected

If you suspect that your child is experiencing Language Processing difficulties, call us for more information.

 Our New York State Licensed Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists have specialized training and expertise in evaluating and treating children and adolescents with Central Auditory Processing and Language Based Learning Disorders.

For more information and to register for our group call:

Telephone (516) 731-5868

(877) 761- HEAR - Toll Free
                        Listen HEAR Group
                               A Division of iHear-Speech-Swallow-Help, Inc.
(516) 731-5868 Local