Speech Therapy

What Is Semantic Disorder? – Overview

I was absolutely surprised to see my friend addressing a group of people on how to improve their communication skills. In childhood many people made fun of him because of Semantic Disorder. As a child he really struggled understanding words and using them correctly. He was the butt of many jokes, and had a horrid time in school. Later, he told me that with the help of his supportive family and a good therapist he could overcome the problem of semantic disorder.

What Is This Disorder?
Semantics is a sub-field of linguistics; and a study to know the meaning of a word, interpreting and understand it.
A disorder of it is evident when an individual or child finds it hard to understand the meaning of a word, or a group of words, phrases, or a sentence. They also find it hard to follow long and complex sentences, and directions.

It is believed that semantic and pragmatic disorder is closely related to autism or it could also occur in conjunction with other developmental disorders. So, it is always better to get the individual diagnosed by a therapist to identify the real cause.

  • The kids or individuals with this problem have a hard time communicating with others unlike their peers can.
  • They are troubled following and understanding spoken words.
  • They find it problematic to concentrate for long. This leads to trouble in class.
  • It is hard for them to respond appropriately to a conversation because they hardly get the gist of it. Because they fail to understand fully the meaning of words, they do not get the core point of the discussion, and hence end up saying something totally irrelevant, thinking they are still talking on the topic.
  • They pick up a word or two from a conversation and construct their whole reply assuming it is the core of the topic, and end up giving vague and irrelevant reply.

Semantic disorder in children can be effectively treated with the help of school teachers, family, friends, and a therapist or specialist in speech and language problems.

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