Language & Social Development

Language is not the same thing as speech, and includes vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure. Listening and language understanding begin at birth, typically come before a child is speaking, and continue to develop through the school years. Hearing acuity is different from receptive language or auditory processing and should always be screened in conjunction with testing or treatment.

There are many ways that a child can express thoughts, feelings, and ideas to others.  Children typically move from using “preverbal means” such as gesturing, showing or pulling a parent along by the hand to using single words. When a child begins to use single words, he is showing that he knows the word can represent his thought or idea.  Children then learn to then express two-word combinations, basic sentences, and complex sentences. However many children experience difficulty in using language to express themselves.  Additionally, some children may not have mastered the rules for social language, in spite of having long, complex sentences with correct grammar.

If you have concerns for your child’s language, this brief list may help:

What are you noticing?

  • Is your child using vocabulary, grammar or sentences that “sound younger” than he is?
  • Does your child have trouble responding to questions appropriately?
  • Is your child difficult to understand in conversation?
  • Does your child prefer to be active instead of listening?
  • Is your child frustrated when not able to communicate using words?
  • Does your child use gestures or show you things instead of speaking?
  • Does your child have difficulty telling you what happened in the past or what will happen in the future?
  • Does your child appear to tune out at times when people are speaking?
  • Does your child seem to have difficulty with greeting others, starting or taking turns in conversation or staying on topic?
  • Does your child show difficulty using appropriate volume level or body language when speaking with others?
  • Does your child have difficulty making or keeping friends?

What it could be.

Answering “yes” to any of the above could indicate that your child has difficulty with language or social language skills.

Call us at (317) 413-9322

If you are uncertain, a Certified Speech and Language Pathologist at CSLLS can help you gain a clearer understanding through a free phone consultation.

What our families have said about our Language & Social services.

“My son’s therapist bonded immediately with him, creating a fun and encouraging learning environment in our home while maintaining a high level of professionalism.  She is working at bridging the gap between what he can now do at home with what he’s doing at school and in other social settings.”

Annie T.


“We first discovered CSLLS in 2011 when our daughter was four years old and almost completely nonverbal. My wife and I had taken her to a center that our insurance recommended only to have our daughter receive a misdiagnosis.  We still knew there was something very wrong, and were determined to find real answers. I knew from my first meeting with the Director that this group was very different.  She allowed me to stay with my daughter to ease my anxieties, and my daughter became very comfortable after a few sessions. Last year, my daughter decided to join a group at church that involved memorization. She was able to recite over thirty six verses out loud in front of several people. That was a huge milestone and could not have happened without our CSLLS therapist.”

Jim Y.