Early Language Intervention
8 January 2021Add to My Folder
Support children’s early language interventions and work alongside speech and language therapists and parents to help children with speech and language delay.
Recently, the education of young people has felt the harsh impact of the current Covid crisis. From university level to the early years, learning environments, routines and teaching approaches have had to adapt. Early years is a crucial phase where children develop the foundations for language and communication, but many children have suffered during the pandemic with various interruptions to their nursery and Reception year. In recognition of this, the government has funded a new program to support early years children whose education and language development have been affected as a result of the pandemic.
Learning, behaviour and relationships are just some of the things that can be affected if a delay in a child’s language development is not diagnosed and treated early. Research has shown that it can also affect longer-term prospects like employment.
Many toddlers who experience a language delay will outgrow this and catch up with their peers. There is, however, a significant percentage of young children that do not catch up. Sometimes parents are advised to wait it out, in the hope that their child will outgrow the delay, but this could do more harm than good. Early diagnosis of language delay increases the chances of improvement through planned treatment and support. Speech and language experts say it is never too early to seek support if a child is experiencing delay and early intervention is strongly recommended.
Each child’s language delay diagnosis will be different and will guide the type support they need. There isn’t a universal approach and strategy for all. Activities and strategies used depend on each individual child, their level of need and the type of speech delay they have.
Language delays display in various ways with varying degrees of severity. Expressive language delay may be seen in a child who demonstrates difficulty in communicating information to others (skills such as forming a sentence, using the correct vocabulary or sequencing information together logically). Receptive language delay involves difficulties with processing information and understanding language (skills such as the ability to follow directions and understanding questions or receptive vocabulary). A child may experience an expressive language delay or a receptive language delay or a mixed receptive-expressive delay. The area the child is struggling with, as well as the severity of the delay, will determine greatly what is taught. Assessment from a speech and language therapist will ensure the correct diagnosis and targets to support the type of speech delay a particular child has.
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