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Sunday, 25 March 2001

Six-Year-Old Has Language Processing Disorder

Written by  Sylvia B. Rimm, PhD

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QDear Dr. Sylvia,

I have a few questions about language processing disorder. My son, who is six and in first grade, had problems learning his ABC's and 123's in kindergarten. By the end of the year though, he was progressing very well. There was still concern with giving him simple directions and having him follow through. He gives me a blank look when I tell him to do something. He just doesn't seem to comprehend completely. He's very healthy and very active. His motor skills are fine. It's just his comprehension. The school system is overwhelmed, and it is hard to find out what exactly to do, or who to see and talk to for help. Do you have any suggestions?

-- Mom Who is Searching for Answers --

ADear Mom Who is Searching for Answers,

First and foremost, if your son has been identified as having a language processing disorder, you need to insist that the school give you further guidance in handling him. He probably is entitled to help from a speech and language therapist, who can probably also advise you on ways to instruct him.

When you talk to your son, be sure you have his full attention. You may have to touch him on the shoulder to be sure he gives you eye contact. Be concrete in any instructions you give him, and begin the task with him, but then be sure he follows through independently.

Because I can't possibly understand your son's specific problem from your question, I encourage you to get more help than what I can give you in a letter. You may need to go to a private psychologist temporarily, but time is of the essence. Your son may indeed catch up, but these early years are important for learning.

Dr. Sylvia

Last modified on Sunday, 30 October 2011 15:03
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Sylvia B. Rimm, PhD

Sylvia B. Rimm, PhD

Dr. Sylvia Rimm is a psychologist and best-selling author with a national following. She is the director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a clinical professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

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