Jason's Struggle with Developmental Language Disorder: An Adverse Childhood Experience and its Impact.
Jason, at the age of 7, has been diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). However, he and his mother are unsure of what this diagnosis means. What they do understand is that Jason has difficulty comprehending spoken instructions and often struggles to find the right words.
His challenges with understanding complex sentences and expressing himself verbally have a significant impact on his ability to communicate effectively, both with his teachers and peers.
Fortunately, at home, his family has learned to understand his gestures, behaviour, needs, and emotions, making communication manageable.
Outside this familiar setting, though, Jason finds himself in a world where his ability to interact with communication norms is greatly hindered, leading to a sense of disconnection.
This disconnection serves as a barrier to inclusion, education, relationships, and virtually every aspect of his life. Effective communication can be considered a fundamental skill upon which all other skills depend.
His feelings of disconnection have made him shy, and as he transitions to school from nursery, he encounters even more hurdles. The structured educational environment intensifies the demands on him, exacerbating his anxiety levels.
His inability to meet basic learning requirements, let alone social norms, leaves him feeling isolated and falling behind his peers. Educators often lack the tools to support children like Jason, who struggle with language.
In classrooms, where competing demands on teachers are abundant, quiet children may end up at the back, unable to participate as they don't understand what's happening. This leads to missed opportunities, negatively impacting learning and exacerbating the problem.
Jason's school attempts to support his needs by providing one-on-one assistance, but even the classroom assistant admits to lacking the necessary skills to adequately support him.
The complexities surrounding Speech, Language, and Communication (SLC) impairments are rooted in neurodevelopmental disorders with no known cause or cure.
Children with these impairments often receive support from a standardised school approach, and in Jason's case, his mother believes that the educational system is to blame.