1890 333 777 To Make An Appointment or book@spectrumhealth.ie

Specific Speech and Language Impairment

'Specific Speech Language Impairment' (SSLI) is a term currently used to describe children whose skill in understanding and/or expressing themselves through speech and language is significantly impaired. These difficulties occur in the context of normal cognitive abilities and are not primarily attributable to social, emotional, behavioural, educational, physical or sensory difficulties (IASLT 2007).

Our Speech and Language Therapists at Spectrum Health can work with your child with a diagnosis of SSLI . We are here to help your child to communicate, express themselves and be who they want to be… 

Symptoms Of SSLI

Three profiles of language difficulty may be apparent in SSLI.

  • Children whose understanding and production of language is equally impaired

  • Children who have a considerable gap between understanding and production with one being more impaired that the other

  • Children with particular difficulty with aspects of language form e.g. grammar or phonology, or language use e.g. pragmatics

If you are concerned that your child may have one or more these characteristics, we recommend that you book in for a 30 minute informal assessment and we will be able to provide guidance on your child’s communication ability and recommend appropriate treatment.

Treatment Of SSLI

An assessment will be carried out that will involve a case history and a formal standardised language assessment. In order for a Speech and Language Therapist to make a diagnosis of SSLI, there must be a psychological assessment carried out by a psychologist.

Depending on your child’s communication abilities, attention span and age our expert Child Speech & Language Therapist will devise an individualised treatment plan using the latest evidence based practice. The intervention will be guided by our interpretation of the child’s formal standardised language assessment. Intervention will be specific for each child

Child Friendly: All treatment modalities that we use are child friendly and usually involve using pictures and games to encourage communication and interaction. We always tailor our intervention in an age appropriate way.

Guidance: We will guide you on the best ways to successfully transfer the skills learned in our clinic setting to everyday settings.

Support: Worksheets will be provided each week in order to encourage and facilitate regular practice and improvement at home between your child’s sessions. At all stages throughout the treatment plan, we will provide detailed guidance for you on how to support your child’s language development between sessions depending on the stage of treatment.

Our Expertise in SSLI

You can expect treatment from an expert who is in tune with how best to engage and communicate with your child. We aim to successfully help your child overcome barriers to language and successfully communicate.

If your child has a diagnosis of SSLI, we will develop a programme aimed to specifically treat this difficulty and we will make sure this is fun for your child.

The progress that they make with us will help increase their self-esteem and confidence. In the case of your child having been frustrated by their language difficulty, we would expect that frustration to dissipate. We would also hope that treatment will support them in their educational setting.

All of Spectrum Health’s Paediatric Speech and Language therapists are qualified from University with a B.Sc. or M.sc (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy and have ample experience working with children who have SSLI.