Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Language Processing Disorder is a very serious matter. The moment you suspect your child has it (see What is Language Processing Disorder? for the signs and characteristics of LPD.) see a Neuro-Pediatrician Immediately!
According to my son's Neuro-pediatrician, a child's brain is almost fully developed at 4 years old.
Now, how does the brain develops?
For the brain to be fully developed, the brain cells, which are called neurons should grow completely. When we say grow completely, it means synapses should grow from them and connect with the synapses of other brain cells. This happens if there is learning or the repetitive use of the brain cell.
Example, when a child learns about one thing, say a word, synapses grow from a neuron to connect with other synapses of other neurons for this particular learned knowledge. The repetitive use of this learned word will make nerve impulses to travel to and fro the neurons by way of the synapses.Through this, the synapse connections become permanent. As more and more things are learned, more and more neurons grow and connect with each other. As more neurons are formed and connected with more neurons, the brain becomes able to perform complex functions and process complex knowledge.
Learning helps in the development of the brain. And this is where the problem comes in the case of LPD.
LPD causes a child to learn slower. It is said that learning among children is facilitated by language. As the child learns to speak, also comes the learning of the things around him. With LPD, the child is incapacitated in the discrimination and processing of sounds, thus slowing him, if not hampering, to learn about words and speaking.
With their learning of words slowed down, so is their learning of the things around them. With learning slowed down, so is their brain development. Without learning, synapses of neurons can't grow and connect with other neurons. Without learning, there are no nerve impulses or electrical impulses to travel through synapses. If nerve/electrical impulses do not travel through the synapses, the synapses die. As synapses die, brain cells cannot connect with other brain cells making them unable to work. As brain cells become unable to work, they start to weaken and also die.
A child's brain should be developed by 4 years old. With language processing disorder, this development is then disrupted. How can a child whose brain was not developed properly, fare with challenges of living?
When my son was diagnosed with LPD, he was 2 1/2 years old. And I was so crushed because the doctor told me I may expect problems with my child especially with his intelligence. At 2 years old, a child's brain should be 50% developed; but because he has Language Processing Disorder, his brain was developing behind. His language and comprehension skills were behind that of a 2 year old, and that was a clear indication.
I understand that denial is the number one thing that may cause a parent not to seek therapeutic intervention at once. I had been through it. It's not the disorder that was hard to accept, but the facts of it. The unfortunate possibilities that lay ahead for your child, the thought of these is horrifying. It took me several weeks before I went to the therapist, though I cannot see yet any negative implications of that several weeks of denying, I cannot be sure that there will be none (and I am so praying hard that there will be none). It is okay to be in denial, but do not deny your kid the help necessary for him to cope up with the situation he is in.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Language Processing Disorder, as you read from my previous entries, is a disorder which greatly affects a child's life in more ways parents could ever imagine. It is characterized by:
- late speech (at 2 years old, the child could barely speak), hyperactivity (due to the fact that the child can't express himself verbally thus he channels everything he wants to say and his frustrations on being able to be understood, through actions),
- and to some kids, hypo activity (due to the emotional effect of not being understood, and the emotional effect of the parents' frustrations and the discrimination of the people around them),
- inability to focus, or the short attention span (easily gets bored),
- and for some,tantrums, that nasty tantrums (more on toddlers).
LPD is a manageable disorder. With intervention, the chances of affected kids coping up with the disorder are very high. Without it, the disorder progresses, resulting to the following:
- Academically Poor Students. Children with LPD's learning abilities are somewhat behind of their age. Because language is synonymous to learning and development, the mere fact that the child is delayed in speaking, means the child's development as a whole is somewhat delayed too. (Remember LPD is due to the inability of the child to recognize and distinguish sounds of words.) Coping up in school is somewhat difficult if not impossible to kids with LPD who do not receive therapeutic interventions.
- Personality Problems. Children with LPD have this inability to express themselves verbally, thus rendering them difficult to understand. Because of this, they are labeled and discriminated as retards or morons. They could also be treated with animosity, disdain and indifference by the people around them. This will make the children feel rejected, resented and even traumatized, causing them to develop personality problems.
- Learning Disabilities. Because learning is slow and somewhat hampered among children with LPD, cognitive skills tend to develop slower which leads to learning disabilities.
LPD is a serious matter. If you suspect your child has it, see a neuropediatrician now!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Language processing disorder to many, if not most, is simply a case of speech delay. Nothing more nothing less. Here in the Philippines and I guess in most parts of the world, older people do not recognize speech delay as a disorder. For them, sooner the child will eventually learn to speak. This could be true to some kids, but not to everyone.
Language processing disorder is an emotionally and cognitively debilitating disorder which greatly affects a child’s life. Without therapy intervention, the child might not be able to outgrow the disorder.
With LPD, verbal message processing becomes difficult which leads to inability of communicating properly. Studying becomes a struggle, and school becomes a battleground. Because the child’s brain cannot process words, learning, either through formal education or through everyday situations, becomes very hard. From cildhood, this may continue through adulthood. Imagine how this child will fit in this world?
Language processing disorder can be mild, moderately severe, and severe. For the mild cases, with therapy intervention and support of the parents, recovery is 100%. The child will eventually learn to talk earlier than expected to LPD cases. He will be able to cope up and be at par with kids his age. School will not be a struggle and academic achievements can be expected.
For the moderately severe cases, the child’s progress will be slower. They will learn to talk later than those with the mild case, and longer therapy intervention will be needed. Pre-school will not be easy. A possible struggle on focus and attention span may arise. It would be most likely that the child will be a little behind in the class. Sped school may be a better option, though not necessary.
There is one thing parents should always remember, mild cases of LPD may fall into moderately severe cases if parents will not follow up the therapy of the child at home. Parent support and patience is crucial.
As for the severe cases, enduring patience of the parents will be needed. Progress will be a lot slower. Therapy will take longer, and school will be a lot more of a struggle for the child. Children of this case are recommended to attend SPED school. Regular school is not advisable because it will not do well for the child. Focus and attention will definitely be a problem for these children. Expect them to be restless and really hyperactive. In some instances, along with their speech delay, some motor activities also may become late. Like walking, and for pre-school, learning to write.
Language processing disorder is something that, regardless of the severity of its case, must be taken seriously by the parents. Early decision of parents on how they will respond on their child’s case will greatly affect not only their child’s development, but most importantly his future.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
What is Language Processing Disorder?
Language processing disorder is a disorder wherein the child has a problem with speech sound discrimination. They experience difficulty processing sound, thus they find difficulty in learning to talk. They find it difficult to understand words. And although children of this situation will eventually learn to talk, school will not be easy and so is life.
What causes language processing disorder?
*According to the neuro-pedia doctor, there are yet no known causes of this disorder except that it is hereditary. (My brother had it, he did not speak until when he was 5, but mind you, he just graduated in the university, and was in the dean's list. I guess that was why my son had it.)
Note: Males are mostly affected, and if females are, they are mostly extreme - extremely severe, or extremely mild. (My friend’s daughter had it also and her case is extremely severe, at 5 she cannot talk yet.)
What could be done to avoid it?
*Since it is hereditary, there is none except prayer.
How to know when a child has a language processing disorder?
These characteristics may be present in normal children, but if it occurs with consistence, then it is a sign that something is wrong.
*He speaks lesser words than his age. Like at 24 months, he could at least say about 20 words, and 2-word phrases. This is what we call delayed speech.
*Some toddlers with this disorder throw tantrum more because of their frustration on their inability to express themselves. Sometimes they tend to become violent.
*Inability to learn the conceptual meaning of words, like mama which is the mother, the tendency here will be the child will have difficulty learning that mama is his mother.
*Inability to follow simple instructions, like: come, or come to mama, or go to daddy.
*Uses grunting, or just plainly make sounds as he points at the objects that he wants, as communication.
*Daydreaming, at an early age of 2, they do, and if this happens consistently, better see a doctor!
*Daydreaming. They seem inattentive in class.
*Difficulty speaking, usually slow, and stops every now and then. Difficulty in expressing themselves.
*Less interest in books and reading.
*Not interested with rhymes, hates spelling, and recitations.
* Difficulty in pronouncing words, and is easy to be distracted with noises.
*Slow and/or delayed response when asked. And difficulty answering questions, usually answers incompletely.
*Disruptive behavior. Hyperactive.
*Difficulty following instructions.
*Simply cannot cope up in class.
Next Topic: How to help your child cope up with this disorder.
When my son was born, there seemed to be nothing wrong with him. Aside from that he was quite thin (because I was on diet when I was pregnant) he’s healthy, grossly active and with no physical deformities. Not until when he was two that we learned something's wrong.
At 2 years old, babies could normally speak more than 20 words and 2-word phrases. I could hear from my son not more than 10 words and could say not 1 phrase. I thought he would eventually learn to say more. A trip to the doctor’s office proved me wrong.
I could never forget that day, it was his vaccine schedule. He wanted the toy that was at the table of our pediatrician. So he made sounds as he pointed at the toy. The doctor asked him what he wanted, instead of speaking he made sounds and pointed at the toy. The doctor asked me if that’s how he communicates when he wanted something, if he could say at least 20 words and 2-word phrases. And I told him yes most of the time, that was how he would communicate his wants, and he could say not more than 10 words. Our doctor advised us to see a Neuro-Pediatrician.
At the neuro-pediatrician’s clinic, my son was assessed for an hour, then came the scariest time in my life, the doctor’s diagnosis. I was scared the doctor would tell me my son is abnormal, and he is mentally retarded or autistic. I guess any mother in my situation would feel the same. No mother would ever want to hear their son is not normal. The diagnosis came.
He was with Language Processing Disorder. At first I didn’t know what to think. What is this disorder? What does it mean? Is my son abnormal?
The doctor explained and assured me that this disorder is not mental retardation neither autism (although autistic children have this disorder). The doctor warned me though that I may expect my son to be a slow learner, and might not be able to cope up in school. She also told me that my son may develop cognitive (thinking) processing problems, and thus he may not become an achiever and may not go far in life. Though with early therapeutic intervention, these things might be avoided, but I could not expect much. She advised that my son must undergo therapy the soonest time possible.
I was devastated. I dreamed and hoped great things for my son. At that moment, it seemed like everything that I hoped for and dreamed for my son was taken away. I kept on asking myself, why me, why my son. Did I do something wrong that this happened to me. Have I been a bad mother? Did I not take care of myself when I was still pregnant? I cried a river for so many days. I didn’t know what to do. I kept telling myself it could not happen to my son. It was all a mistake. My son is okay. My denial was so strong my son didn’t see a therapist until after a couple of weeks later. And the rest is history.
My son has come a long way. Four years after the day our pediatrician asked us how many words he could say, no one will believe if I tell them my son had language processing disorder. He is now at par with his age, and is in preparatory class. And I am proud to say, he’s one of the top, and he was chosen to represent his class in a reading and comprehension competition. He may not win, but with the neuro-pediatrician’s assessment on my son, this is something. And the only thing I could say is PRAISE GOD!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Specific learning Disabilities, Language Processing Disorder, most probably you are not familiar with these, let me explain according to experience...
Normally babies start talking at 18 months. As they reach their 24th month, they should at least could say 3-word phrases, and could verbally express their wants well. But when your child is 2 years old and could say words not more than 30, could not express his wants verbally, then most likely your child has Language Processing Disorder.
There are some children that no matter what you do, they could not learn one specific thing. For example, a child may be very good in language and comprehension, arts and music, but when it comes to numbers, he's having difficulties learning. This is the case of Specific Learning Disabilities.
SLD and LPD are disabilities that could leave children handicapped in life. But with proper and early intervention, and at the same time, awareness and understanding of parents, children with these situations would be able to cope up and eventually live a normal life.
***SLD and LPD are not the same with and in no way could be compared to mental retardation and autism.
Expect to read everything a parent needs to know about these disabilities and how they could help their kids from this page in days to come....