Expressive Language Disorder or English as a Second Language

Expressive language disorders impact self -esteem

It’s never too late to get help for a language disorder.

“I have problems expressing my thoughts: Ever since the day I was born, I’ve always had problems expressing my thoughts and getting out what I wanted to say,” says the writer on  psychologist Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW,  blog on PsychCentral.
The psychologist suggested that the person join the debate team, read, practice with friends and family, have other people read your work and go to Toastmaster, but she never suggested that the person go to a speech/language pathologist. Based on the written question, the person’s concerns appeared warranted.  First, I wondered what was their primary language? Immediately, I was curious to know whether the difficulty was the result of English being learned as a second language or did they have an expressive language disorder.

However, what struck me was the fact that, the psychologist did not advise the person to see a speech pathologist. In this case, a speech pathologist would determine if the writer had an expressive language impairment or if their challenges were directly related to the acquisition of English as a second language. After making the determination, the speech pathologist would provide the person with strategies and interventions to improve their language skills.

Ms. Randle advised the person to read more, join toastmasters, or a debate club. For a person that already has reduced self-esteem due to communication challenges entering a group situation can be difficult. After learning new strategies, focusing on building the impaired language skills, and equipped with an understanding of their language strengths and challenges, Toastmasters, would be a great place to generalize these new skills. Improving impaired expressive communication skills takes more than just reading books. It requires an evaluation to identify the exact cause of the problem and targeted intervention. The good news is that even if someone is an adult, they can always improve so they become more comfortable with their communication skills.

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