Speech Therapy

Semantic Pragmatic Language Disorder

The study of meanings of words, phrases, sentences and texts is regarded as ‘Semantics’ .

‘Pragmatics’ is the way to use language in a specific way during any conversation. Pragmatics is to know what to say in situations and what not.

Semantics & Pragmatics together deals with:

  • approaching the meaning of the sentence through the actual words and structure
  • using context and what is already known how to interpret and understand what is being said
  • Semantic Pragmatic Disorder refers to a child struggling with the meaning and use of language in social context

For e.g., the Sentence – “She was the apple of her father’s eye”, conveys the following meaning:

  • ‘She’ refers to a female.
  • She is the daughter of the other person ‘father’
  • She is no longer ‘the apple of her father’s eye’. It is past not present.
  • ‘Apple of her father’s eye’ refers that she was as important as eyes for her father.
  • Why she was so loved by her father is not known as it is not provided in the sentence.

Symptoms of Semantic Pragmatic Language Disorder:

  • Evidential speech delays (i.e. few words by 2 years)
  • Observing any fine or gross motor delays
  • The child would like to relate with peers but would understand social manners with difficulty
  • Difficulty with imaginative play
  • Meaningless repetition of words, called Echolalia
  • Highly superior in handling computers and mathematical calculations but troubled writing
  • The child may get lonely or have been rejected by peers
  • May start laughing or getting frustrated at inappropriate times
  • May not be able to understand other’s situation and feelings
  • It may happen that a child may be extremely intelligent, but socially do no act as per his age

Fighting with SPLD:

The Speech & Language Therapist is wholly responsible in treating the child’s speech with continued therapy. The therapy depends entirely on the ability of the child in integrating appropriate social skills with due progress in language skills.

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