Language

CONTENT, FORM, USE 

 

  • Content: Content is semantics or use of vocabulary.    When a child has trouble with semantics she will struggle with understanding words and sentences.  Signs to look for:
    • Uses shorter sentences than expected for grade level.
    • Difficulty with sequencing
    • Difficulty responding to questions.
    • Trouble with word retrieval
    • Uses the same word for multiple meanings
    • Difficulty making connections between words
    • Struggles with oral and reading comprehension
    • Struggles to understand non-literal language



  • Form: Form refers to the structure of language.  The three main structures are syntax (sentence structure), morphology (grammar), and phonology (speech sounds).   
    • A child struggling with sentence structure might put the words in the wrong order, leave words out, or use the wrong verb tense, for example:
      • Leaving the verb "is" out:  "The boy going to the park" or 
      • Using the wrong verb tense ("is" instead of "are"): "The boys is going to the park"
    • A child is struggling with grammar if he is dropping word endings, such as, "The boy are going to the park".  Here the child left out the plural "s" on "boys".
    • A child is struggling with with phonology if she is struggling with the patterns of speech, such as leaving off the ends of words ("da for "dad"), or reducing a blend ("poon" for "spoon").  This is called a phonological processing disorder and is different than a traditional articulation disorder.  You can read more about it on the articulation page.


  • Use: Use refers to pragmatic or social language skills.  How we use language to communicate our ideas, wants and needs.  Children who have difficulty with pragmatic skills may struggle with:
    • catching social cues
    • starting conversations
    • ending conversations
    • staying on topic
    • considering other peoples interest
    • greeting people
    • appropriate eye contact
    • turn taking
    • flexible thinking
    • being polite