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Quick reference – Problems to look out for

Presenting problems in otherwise ‘normally developing’ school age children with specific language impairments (SLI) and/or reading disorders (RD).

Age range: 4-8yrsAge range: 8-18yr
Common comments from parentsCommon comments from parents & teachers
SpeechProblems with speech soundsProblems saying multisyllabic words
Receptive LanguageCan’t follow instructions

Can’t work unsupervised

Doesn’t understand the main idea

Drifts off in class, disruptive Doesn’t listen in class or at home

Doesn’t have many friends
Doesn’t answer the question

Doesn’t know where to start with homework, assignments, exams

Doesn’t understand the main idea or inferred message

Attention difficulties Doesn’t listen in class or at home Can’t follow story lines in movies

Doesn’t have many friends – difficulty with humour
Expressive LanguageCan’t explain himself

Mixes the order of words in a sentence

Can’t tell a story logically
Uses the wrong words or non specific “like” and “stuff”

Sentence structure is simplistic or poorly organised

Can’t explain ideas logically
LiteracyProblems learning letters and sounds

Problems with sight words

Can’t remember what was read

Spelling problems
Problems pronouncing unfamiliar words

Slow reading results in fatigue & poor comprehension

Reading ok, comprehension poor - can’t remember content

Problems spelling homophones (there, their)

Sentence structure is simplistic or poorly organised

Can’t organise writing at paragraph or text level