The importance of developing clinical strategies for treating language development delay"
A loud voice echoes inside the clinic. The voice comes from a bright child who can confidently present what he learned in front of teachers, parents and friends. In the past year, the child has achieved many clinical and psycho-educational treatment goals.
When the bright, kind child who was born in an English speaking country to the clinic for the first time, he did not answer other people’s questions and showed signs of depression. According to his comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation, his English development was delayed and he showed difficulties in phonemic awareness and phonetic recognition, which led him to have speech therapy for several years.
For example, he struggled to differentiation the sounds of /r/ and /th/ in words. He showed confusion in phonemic awareness and phonetic recognition, exacerbating his English language acquisition. He needed an individualized strategy to recognize phonetics and its relation to English alphabet letters.
School of Life – Active Learning Center’s team of clinicians developed individualized psycho-educational strategies and implemented them. Consequently, the child started being aware of the sounds of different letters and the word meaning.
As the child started developing his English language further, he was able to learn academic contents in English and was now capable of presenting what he learned in class.
Although he could present confidently in front of teachers, he was passive and dazed when he was asked to present in front of other people. Our behavioral analysis discovered a certain behavioral pattern. When he was given a difficult question or a challenging task, adults around him answered the question and completed the task for him. His repeated patterns of low self-esteem and helplessness was caused by other people’s constant helping behavior.
A language development delay can lead to secondary symptoms such as emotional, behavioral difficulties. Therefore, it is important that psychological treatments target both language development and behavioral difficulties at the same time. Once the child acquired the class materials, exposure therapy strategies were used for him to overcome challenging situations.
During his presentations, he read the English letters and words that he wrote, processed them, and pronounced them out loud to provoke his phonological awareness. Consequently, he was able to improve his problem behaviors.
He no longer presents with a quiet voice. His loud, confident voice echoes in the clinic. He is now happily conversing with teachers and parents without avoiding challenges and continues to develop his own strategies like a hero.
Yekyung KimㅣActive Learning Coordinator, Active Learning Center / the Tree Group