A child with speech/language delay or specific language impairment exhibits language development that is significantly behind those of his peers. He may have an expressive delay and be unable to communicate effectively. He may have a receptive delay and be unable to understand when others talk to him. He may have both. Symptoms include:
Slow to begin talking
Difficulty understanding what other people have said
Problems following directions
Problems organizing thoughts
Using short sentences or getting the words in the wrong order
Difficulty finding the right words when talking
Weak vocabulary development
Using tenses (past, present, future) incorrectly
Many children with a diagnosis of Specific Language Impairment or Speech/Language Delay have responded well to Visualizing and Verbalizing – the treatment involved in stimulating the brain to create mental images that correspond with units of language.
The majority of the students completed the treatment process have made significant gains in their ability to comprehend language – both oral and written. They have been able to build mental images to “illustrate” the concepts inherent in a unit of language. The process of doing this “building” over and over leads to automaticity. Pretty soon, the child’s brain is “popping in” images when he is listening or reading, and he doesn’t have to be consciously involved in making this happen.
The other effect of imagery training involves expressive language – the ability to express your thoughts adequately in a well-organized fashion. We look at the pictures in our heads in order to figure out what words we need to use to tell people what we know. Some of our students have been able to image fairly well but haven’t been able to use those images to express themselves. They struggle to write a letter, take a test, explain why they are in a grumpy mood, or ask for a turn on the swing. Our treatment stimulates their oral expression and gives students daily opportunities to develop and solidify their expressive language skills.