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Pragmatic Language: An Introduction

Social communication with others requires a complex integration of skills in three areas:blog-pragmatic language-main-landscape

  1. Social interaction
  2. Social cognition
  3. Pragmatic language skills

A social worker often addresses social interaction skills (e.g., understanding social rules, such as how to be polite) and social cognition skills (e.g., understanding the emotions of oneself and others). A speech-language pathologist often targets pragmatic language skills, which are the verbal and nonverbal behaviors used in social interactions.

A social interaction typically requires the ability to understand and use the following pragmatic language skills:

  1. Expression of a variety of communicative functions. Does the child communicate for a variety of reasons, such as attempting to control the actions of others, asking questions, exchanging facts, or expressing feelings?
  2. Use of appropriate frequency of communication. Does the child use an equal number of messages as his or her communication partner?
  3. Discourse (conversation) skills. Can the child initiate conversation, take turns, maintain and shift topics, and repair communication breakdowns?
  4. Flexible modification of language based on the social situation. Can the child switch between informal vs. formal language based on the setting and listeners?
  5. Narrative storytelling. Can the child tell coherent and informative stories?
  6. Nonverbal language. Can the child understand and use body language, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact?
  7. Nonliteral language skills. Does the child understand figurative language, jokes, words with multiple meanings, and inferences?

A child with a social communication disorder, also known as a pragmatic language impairment, may present with difficulties using language to participate in conversations. Impairments in pragmatic language can impact a child’s ability to make and keep friends. It is important that social language skills are viewed within the context of an individual child’s cultural background. A speech-language pathologist can identify and treat pragmatic language difficulties in children.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!

Meet-With-A-Speech-Pathologist

What to Expect from Your Pediatrician during a Speech/Language Checkup

When parents develop concerns about their child’s speech and language, the first person they typically ask for help is the pediatrician. At the 15 month and 2 year checkups, discussing concerns with your pediatrician is a great way to get more information. Your pediatrician will take a close look at your child’s physical health and the major milestones achieved.

To make this easier, keep track of speech and fine/gross motor milestones and at what age they develop.

As a general rule, here are the ages at which your child should be achieving these steps:

Language

 

Gross Motor

 

Fine Motor

Babbling6 monthsRolling4 monthsObjects to midline4 months
Gesturing to indicate want9 monthsSitting Independently6 monthsRaking grasp7 months
Following 1-step commands12 monthsCrawling8 monthsFinger feeds7 months
First words12 monthsStanding9 monthsPincer fingers9 months
Combining words24 monthsWalking12 monthsSpoon use15 months
Says name35 monthsRunning15 monthsCup use15 months

Additionally, it is important to discuss frequent ear infections with your pediatrician. An ear infection is fluid buildup in the middle ear, essentially muffling all speech/language your child is exposed to. If your child cannot hear clearly, he will have difficultly acquiring new language. If your child is prone to chronic ear infections, discussing PE tubes may be the next step to ensuring your child develops speech and language.

If your pediatrician recommends a speech pathologist or an audiologist, read here for what to expect during a speech screening or evaluation.  If you have immediate concerns, contact a speech pathologist for a screening today.

What is Baby Sign and how it can help a Child’s Speech and Language Development | Pediatric Therapy Tv

In today’s Webisode, a Pediatric Speech Pathologist explains what Baby Sign Language is and how it can be helpful for an infant’s ability to speak, contributing to their overall communication.

Learn how sign language can help late talkers in our blog!

In this video you will learn:

  • How do babies use gestures to communicate
  • What skills do babies develop using gestures and signs
  • What age is appropriate to use gestures and signs with your infant

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now, your host, here’s
Robyn.

Robyn: Hello, and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host, Robyn
Ackerman, and today I’m standing with a Pediatric Speech and Language
Pathologist, Kay Connolly. Kay, can you tell our viewers what exactly baby
sign language is?

Kay: Sure. It’s a very natural part of development. Gestures are absolutely
what we use when communicating. You’ll see your baby doing those very early
signs of pointing or lifting up their arms to be held, waving goodbye.
Those are all early signs, and baby sign language is teaching some of those
more common gestures that also have words associated with them. They can
use those as building communication, building vocabulary, building a means
of communication that isn’t necessarily verbal.

It’s very appropriate for those infants aged about 9 to 18 months. That’s
when you’re really starting to see those communications, those gestures,
and you start to see them using some vocabulary, too. It’s a really great
way to increase their overall vocabulary, and help them really communicate
effectively without using their voice, because your child will develop
their comprehension and their gross motor skills, like the pointing and the
gestures, earlier than they are actually ready to speak.

This is a great tool to use to help them communicate with you and describe
their wants and needs. As far as there’s some concerns that maybe, this
would replace verbal communication, and that’s absolutely not the case. In
fact, there’s some research supporting that this will actually increase
their overall vocabulary instead, which is really some nice research there.
That said, it should be used as a link between the gesture and the verbal
word. So when you’re teaching it, it should absolutely combine both and
really help your child to make that connection to increase their
vocabulary.

Robyn: All right. Thank you so much, Kay, and thank you to our viewers. And
remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatrics Therapy TV, where we bring peace of
mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To subscribe
to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit our website at
learnmore.me. That’s learnmore.me.