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Language Difficulties Caused by Communication Disorders: How You Can Improve Your Skills

Posted by Constant Therapy
Constant Therapy

Language is a complicated system – yet we often don’t think about the components of language until one of them runs amuck. Today’s post discusses the various aspects of language - specifically, oral language, or how we speak and understand spoken language - and which Constant Therapy tasks can help you to overcome individual difficulties.

Language has two big divisions – oral and written

When we say oral, we mean spoken language, both in terms of understanding and speaking. With written language, we mean reading and writing. Areas of weakness can arise in any, all, or some combination of these areas. 

There are a lot of things that can cause difficulties with language. Keep in mind that some disorders may be acquired (or caused by an event or trauma that affected the brain) while some may be developmental (an issue someone is born with).

Here are a few disorder areas that can cause difficulties with language (and note there is overlap and relationship between thinking and talking):

  • Traumatic Brain Injury 
  • Concussion
  • Aphasia
  • Brain Tumor
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s
  • Degenerative Neurological Diseases (diseases of the brain and nervous system that get worse over time)
  • Primary Progressive Aphasia
  • Language Learning Disorders

And here’s the cool thing about each of these (and this is huge) — because of neuroplaticity, your brain can be trained to develop (or re-develop) various language skills. 

How to improve language skills

Here are some of the tasks within our Constant Therapy app that can help – and why they help:

Oral Language

Auditory Comprehension

How it affects daily life

  • Hearing and discerning sounds, both environmental and speech
  • Understanding the meaning of a spoken word
  • Understanding sentences (both simple and complicated)
  • Understanding your conversation with your significant other
  • Figuring out a voicemail
  • Understanding the guy at the grocery store check out

Which Constant Therapy tasks can help

  • Minimal Pairs with Spoken Cue – pick the word that has a specific, provided sound from two words that are very close; helps differentiate between sounds within words
  • Minimal Pairs with Written Cue – pick the word that matches the hint (but your choices are only one sound off!)
  • Minimal Pairs – Same or Different – decide whether two very similar words are the same or different; helps pick up on the minute differences between words!
  • Spoken Word Comprehension – match a picture with a spoken word; helps with vocabulary and word recognition!

spoken word comprehension screenshot

  • Spoken Sound – does the word provided include the sound provided? Great for working on reading skills, for adults and kids!

spoken sound screenshot

  • Spoken Syllable – figure out how many syllables are in a word (this helps with your sound system organization of words, and with reading!)

spoken syllable

  • Spoken Rhyming – do two provided words rhyme? Again helps with reading and your sound system organization of words

spoken rhyming

  • Auditory Command – lots of levels of increasing difficulty with directions on where to place various pictures

auditory command screenshot

  • Voicemail – listen to a voicemail from a real person and answer comprehension questions! **Directly Functional**

voicemail screenshot

  • Word Repetition – repeat a spoken word; this can help with hearing specific sounds in words and then reproducing them (and the app will tell you if you get it right!)

word repetition screenshot

Naming

How it affects daily life

  • That “tip of the tongue” feeling of not finding the right word – but for ANY and ALL words!
  • Participating in conversation
  • Giving a speech
  • Answering the phone
  • Ordering food
  • Communicating your wants and needs

What Constant Therapy can do to help

  • Syllable Identification – shows you a picture and you decide whether the name for the picture has the number of syllable provided; helps with phonological processing (reading skills) and the sound system organization of how we store words

syllable identification screenshot

  • Sound Identification – does the name for the picture contain the sound provided? Helps with pre-literacy skills AND the sound system organization of how we store words

sound identification screenshot

  • Rhyming – does a picture rhyme with a provided word? Helps with pre-literacy skills AND the sound system organization of how we store words

rhyming

  • Category Matching – identify the category that a provided picture belongs in; helps with the meaning system of how we store words

category matching screenshot

  • Feature Matching – does a semantic feature match with a given picture? helps with the meaning system of how we store words

feature matching screenshot

  • Simple Word Production – name a picture; the app will tell you if you name it correctly or not!
  • Naming Picture – speak the name of a picture; the app will tell you if you’ve got it correct or not!

picture naming screenshot

Topics: Tips for Survivors, Aphasia

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Constant Therapy is an award-winning cognitive and speech therapy app, created for survivors of stroke, brain injury, and other neurogenic disorders.

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