Speech Language Pathology LLC
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  • Posted on June 8th, 2009

      WHEN YOUR CHILD DOES NOT UNDERSTAND

    First

    “Put yourself in your child’s shoes”

    Imagine you are in a foreign country and you are just learning the language. In a noisy environment you would have a hard time understanding what the speaker is saying especially if the speaker gave you no gestural or demonstration cues. If the speaker came over to you individually and looked right into your face you would give her your attention and try to understand what she was saying. If the speaker gave directions rapidly in long complex sentences you might still have a hard time understanding her. But if she used short simple sentences and said them slowly you would be more likely to understand. If she paired these short simple sentences with gestures like pointing or demonstration of what was expected, you would be most likely to understand and respond.

    Imagine the anxiety you would have if you knew something was expected of you but could not decipher the message. We all respond differently to that kind of anxiety. 

    Some children tend to just say “no” and refuse to change the activity. It appears that difficulties with transitions may be in part due to  difficulties with understanding what is expected.

    Some children act out their anxiety by misbehaving, whining, being aggressive or being noncompliant.

    What you can do

    • Get information about your child’s level of understanding. A Speech Language Pathologist would be a good person to check with.
    • Speak to your child at the level of his understanding so that he will have more of a chance of understanding you.
    • Use visual cues to help your child understand. Gestures such as pointing and facial expressions give valuable information about what is being said. Some children do better when sign language, pictures or visual symbols are provided.
    • S-L-O-W  D-O-W-N.  Most of us speak much to quickly as adults for a new language learner to keep up with us.
    • Always seek the advice of developmental specialists if you are concerned about your child’s development. These suggestions are general principles and may or may not help your child with his/her own needs.

     

     

     

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