Can a Language Disorder be Cured?

I was recently asked this very good question by a parent. She wanted to know if her young daughter who was recently diagnosed with a language disorder by her school district would have the language disorder when she became an adult. The answer is no….and yes. If a young child is diagnosed with a language disorder and receives speech therapy, the goal is the student will have the extra instruction to fill in any learning gaps and get them to grade level. If that happens then the language disorder may resolve. If the student has other conditions, perhaps there is a cognitive impairment or a more pronounced neurological component then we might expect to see a language disorder into adulthood. Speech therapy is designed to target the language skills the student is missing. Some students don’t learn the rules of language without the direct instruction that takes place during speech therapy. Some students will continue to benefit from accommodations when they enter college. “Difficulties experienced by children and adolescents with language impairment can continue to impact functioning in post-secondary education and vocational settings.” (Johnson, Beitchman, & Brownlie, 2010).

This information is from the ASHA website:

Transition Goals—goals for successful transitioning to post-secondary school or employment that can include preparing a resume; completing a job or college application; effectively presenting skills and limitations during an interview; expressing concerns to authority figures about academic or job performance; stating or restating a position to effectively self-advocate in academic and employment settings

Disability Support Services—individualized support for college-level students that can include accommodations, such as extended time for tests and the use of assistive technology (e.g., to help with reading and writing tasks)

Vocational Support Services—include testing to identify vocational strengths, career counseling, vocational training, job search assistance, and job coaching”

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