Language is an important aspect of man and of society. It is a system of signs and symbols either read, written, or spoken that undergoes a process of encoding and decoding information. Language is derived from the Latin word Lingua, which means tongue, which is a metaphor referring to speech (Bloomfield, 1914). Language is essential to communication. It is a medium by which people can understand each other and share information. It is by language that people are connected. However, there are people who have difficulty in delivering language to the fullest of the capabilities.
These people are considered to have language disorders. Language disorders happen when an individual is unable to produce speech sounds accurately or fluently. This may consist of problems with the voice, articulation, enunciation, or stuttering. A person suffering from language disorders may have difficulty in understanding others, or in sharing their thoughts and ideas through language. Unfortunately, language disorders still have no known causes (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, n. d. ).
One of the most common language disorders is referred to as expressive language disorder. This paper discusses different information regarding this condition such as identifying the symptoms and the possible treatments available for treating it. This paper also discusses instructional issues and long term prognosis as supported by research. Expressive Language Disorder An individual who has expressive language disorder could understand another person perfectly as that of a normal person. However, he/she may not be able to communicate thoughts and ideas as much as he/she can comprehend.
In view of speech therapy, as person with this type of condition has normal receptive language but has defective expressive language. In the physiological perspective, this condition is usually associated with language development delay, which can be caused by brain damage or injury. As a developmental disorder, this is common among children. As an acquired disorder, expressive language disorder is common among the elderly. It may not matter whether the child with this condition is of normal intelligence. However, it can be an effect of something that is broader such as mental retardation or autism (Morales, 2006).
The demographics for expressive language disorder show that around ten to fifteen percent of children under the age of three and in three to seven percent of school-aged children experience language delay. This condition is also more common with boys than with girls. According to studies, the disorder happens two to five times for frequently in boys than with girls. The developmental type for this condition is also more common than the acquired type (“Expressive Language Disorder”, 2010). Generally, expressive language disorder is a condition for children. The signs and symptoms for this disorder are very varied depending on the child.
A child with this condition does not necessarily mean that he/she has problems with the pronunciation of words. It also does not follow those children with this condition experience difficulty in constructing sentences, observing proper grammar, or using the proper term to use. These children often are not able to express themselves such as their thoughts, feelings, needs, or wants the way normal children would. They do not have the same complexity or level of expression as their normal peers, although they have the same capability of understanding as others would (“Expressive Language Disorder”, 2010).
History The origins of language disorders can be traced to as early as 1861, when the earliest observations on aphasia were made by John Jackson. He was able to observe alterations in the language which is caused by diseases. In 1994, the term learning disabilities were associated with language disorder. This was manifested in a report by Illsae Perimutter. In her article, the characteristics of the language disorder were first described (Perimutter, 1994). Further researches were conducted after the disorder gained recognition.
Eventually, schools and other institutions started to include curriculums for children with learning as well as language disorders. Means of diagnosis and treatments soon followed with more studies exploring interventions that will completely address the symptoms experienced by individuals who have expressive language disorder. Assessment There are a number of ways in which a person can be identified as to having expressive language disorder. One of which is diagnostic writing. Another method is the use of speech or language tests.
These are much more commonly used to identify the specific type of language difficulty are affecting the person’s communication skills. Mainly, it is through observations, analysis of students’ output, cognitive assessments, and occupational therapy evaluations that one can be identified to be experiencing expressive language disorder (Logsdon, 2010). Treatment and Prevention There are treatment interventions available for people who are suffering from expressive language disorder. These consist of direct therapeutic interventions for speech and language difficulties such as training and enhancement programs.
These interventions usually go with psychotherapy, depending on the severity of the case. Education methods are the most effective treatment interventions for this condition. This can be incorporated to special classroom instruction at schools. Children who are in their school years can also be treated through individualized instruction such as tutoring, which focuses on their specific problem or difficulty. For children who may experience emotional or behavioral problems that are caused by their condition, psychotherapy is recommended through counseling (“Expressive Language Disorder”, n.
d. ). For the developmental type of expressive language disorder, there are no known prevention strategies that can be done since these emerged during childhood. For the acquired however, the main cause is usually brain damage or injury. Thus, preventive measures for the acquired type can be the same as the preventive measures for brain damage such as lowering the cholesterol level of the body to prevent stroke, or by simply wearing a helmet when riding a bike (“Expressive Language Disorder”, 2010). Instructional Issues and Interventions
The effects of expressive language disorder or even the condition itself was not net given much recognition in early years. The symptoms of this type of disorder was only noticed when they are severe. Students with this condition may have learned to cover up for their difficulties by observing school mates. They may also have learned to find other ways of compensating for their condition, in order for them to go unnoticed. Some students who actually have language disorders can appear to be normal by watching other classmates and imitating what they are doing.
As mentioned in the earlier pages, children with this condition does not necessarily mean than they have difficulties in sentence construction and in pronunciation. In the classroom, they can go unnoticed because they can provide the right answers and sometimes even provide complex oral outputs. It is important to father question students during discussions in order to test whether the student has a firm grasp of the concept and not simply mimic others in the classroom.
This is an existing issue for teachers since they are on the front line in determining which among their students have the disorder. They must be critical in their assessments and the way their measure their students to be able to identify difficulties and apply the right interventions (Richford, n. d. ). Early intervention is essential for the developmental type of expressive language disorder. Those who are diagnosed under this type are usually children. The first three years of a child’s life is crucial in the foundation and development of language.
If interventions are introduced during this time, there is a large chance that children will be more successful in terms of reading, writing, school work, and interpersonal relationships. Interventions also need to be reinforced, as expressive language develops through adolescence and adulthood (“Expressive Language Disorders”, n. d. ). The scenario for caregivers and teachers in the field of special education is different from teachers teaching normal children in a sense that they are free from the burden of identifying students with learning or language disabilities.
In this field, one of proven effective teaching interventions for language disorder is by teaching story grammar knowledge. This was tested in pre-school children with language impairments through an exploratory study. In the study, 13 pre-school children were subjected to a narrative intervention program. Two content measures were used to analyze the children’s story productions. The results of the study showed statistically significant improvements for story information and episode level.
It was clear that the children manifested improvement after they participated in the intervention (Hayward & Schneider, 2000). This method can be effective for teaching children with expression language disorder as they construct ideas and thoughts and project them in a narrative perspective. One of the issues concerning instructional interventions addressing expressive language disorder is that there are only few studies that serve as evidence supporting the language intervention practices that are presently being implemented on school-aged children with the said condition.
This was the conclusion of the study conducted to assess the language interventions that are being integrated by schools on children with language disorders. The results of the study showed that out of the review of studies conducted, only 21 were considered as valid to have studied the effectiveness of this particular intervention on school-aged children since 1985. Other than that, out of the 21 studies, 11 of these studies limited their population to children in kindergarten and first grade. No studies were found to have studied on older populations such as in middle school or high school.
However, the results of the review suggested that for the majority of the studies, some confidence is still evident in the specific language intervention practices, in the clinical perspective (Cirrin & Gillam, 2008). Long Term Prognosis The prognosis for language disorders may vary, depending on the cause, type, and severity of the case. Basically, children who are subject to early intervention therapies and other methods are most likely to recover from the symptoms brought about by the disorder. As for the developmental type of expressive language disorder, the prognosis is generally good.
Most of the children who are suffering from this condition usually develop normal or almost normal language skills by the time they reach high school. However, there are other minor symptoms of the disorder that has very little chance of getting resolved (Davidson & Villiers, 2010). As for the acquired type of expressive language disorder, prognosis depends on the nature and the area of the brain that is affected by the disorder. For some patients, they are able to recover and regain their language skills after a number of days or months.
However, for people who suffer more serious illness and conditions such as strokes, there are parts of the brain that are intensely affected, thus resulting to longer impairments to expressive language and communication skills. For others who have more intense conditions, they never fully recover their expressive language function (“Expressive Language Disorder”, 2010). References Expressive Language Disorder. (2010). Retrieved Ausgust 3, 2010, from Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders: http://www. minddisorders. com/Del-Fi/Expressive-language-disorder. html American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n. d.
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