Did you know: Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), formerly known as dysphasia or primary language disorder, was adopted as the new term in 2017.
Adolescence is a crucial time in your child's life during which many changes take place. Add to that Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). You may have lots of questions and some parents may feel overwhelmed. It can be difficult to know if your teen's behaviors are caused by adolescence or by DLD.
As a start, you can ask yourself whether you recognize your teen in any of these situations:
Many teenagers exhibit these behaviors from time to time. However, it is important to avoid the pitfall of minimizing the impact of DLD on daily life. It can be difficult to distinguish between what belongs to adolescence and what belongs to DLD. However, by keeping these symptoms in mind, you can put things in perspective.
For example, if your teenager refuses to get up in the morning. Be aware that DLD leads to severe fatigue. It may not be a lack of motivation, but rather a need for rest. Does your child get breaks? Can they do fewer activities? Ones that don't involve language?
As your youngster gets older, they become aware that they have a gap with their peers. This can affect their motivation. Their disability creates a real challenge on a daily basis. The transition to high school is often a source of anxiety. The pace increases and so do the expectations. Resources may be less available. Sometimes, as the child develops his vocabulary or speaks at the same pace as the adult, his difficulties can be forgotten. However, TDL is present throughout his life.
Is your teen not doing their chores or responsibilities? Before thinking about laziness, ask yourself if DLD might be the obstacle. If a task seems too complex, they may want to avoid it to avoid another failure. If the task is misunderstood or insufficiently explained, there may be a lack of understanding, and consequently the task may be abandoned.
Also, take a moment to analyze your approach. Often, when our children are younger, we try to compensate for their difficulties. We are more accommodating. As they get older, our expectations increase. However, the disability persists. Be sure to provide tools and strategies that set your child up for success. These must be continually reviewed and adapted according to their new reality and environment. It is still important to maintain rules and expectations that are realistic for the child's abilities, which is also true for children without disabilities.
It is quite possible that adolescence will have an impact on your teen's daily life. However, it is important to recognize that their DLD may also accentuate certain behaviours, and remember this in your approach. Take a moment to review the tools. You can also use this time to talk with your teen. Sometimes they realize their challenges, but don't know how to help reduce them.