A controversial theoretical discourse focuses on a “return to Freud” by way of linguistics and cultural anthropology, so this next section has me excited to share more about communication disorders! Given the length is a little beyond what web designer prefer, this will be in two parts this month, with Part 1 immediately below.
Many of us take for granted our capacity to learn language, speak with friends and family, or communicate more generally through talking, listening, body language; in-person, via text or type; multiple devices for ease of use and convenience when not in the same place at the same time. What if shortfalls in capacity are indicated by standardized tests by which professionals may compare an individual’s abilities with the cultural averages? What if one or more of the options typically available are troublesome for a person? It may mean there is a communication disorder present. The diagnostics under Communication Disorders include “language disorder, speech sound disorder, childhood-onset fluency disorder (stuttering), social (pragmatic) communication disorder, and other specified and unspecified communication disorders” (p. 41).
The diagnosis of a Language Disorder (Code 315.39; ICD F80.9) is utilized when difficulties in the language acquisition or ongoing use of language proves problematic. This includes written, spoken, sign language, or other modality. Issues may include limits in knowledge or use of vocabulary that does not meet the standards of a particular age; limitations in the individual’s capacity to form sentences according to grammatical rules; or “impairments in discourse,” which means how the lexicon and placement of words together connect or do not connect to a topic or series of topics within a conversation. The issues may simply be normal for a child’s age or within the context of learning a second language – as either child or adult. When this is not the case, issues negatively impact the person’s ability and capacity to meet standardized expectations.
Onset of symptoms are typically within the earlier developmental stages of childhood. The issues should not be due to another impairment, disability, disorder that would better explain the condition.
The differential diagnostics for Language Disorder include intellectual disability; neurological disorders; autism spectrum disorder or other neurological syndrome; hearing loss or other sensory impairment. The risk factors increase if there is a familial history of language impairment (p. 43).