Anybody who has a child with a language struggle, whether their child is 18 months old, 18 years old or 60 years old, knows that communication difficulties can cause a child to be lonely, frustrated and often result in the child getting in to lots of trouble. Many children with a learning difficulty end up being excluded from school or, at the very least, not thriving in life.
The BBC recently reported that, “children with a serious language impairment can grow up lonely, frustrated and in trouble. Manchester University researchers are trying to find out how to make them swim, not sink.
There is lots of focus on the child with the language delay, but having a child with these types of struggles often results in parents and siblings of the child becoming very lonely and frustrated. It can result in a whole host of relational problems within the family, which is why supporting the whole family unit as well as teaching the child with the struggles all they need to thrive, is absolutely essential.
There are so many ways that this can be offered, from counselling or behavioural therapy through to outings, practical support or team meetings. We have found the key is to tailor support specifically to the family. We have especially found that sessions in the family home can be the most helpful for siblings, as is giving siblings a specific role in the teaching of the development of language for the child with the struggle.