Can Speech or Language Problems Prevent My Child From Learning Properly?

The short answer is ‘yes.’ When a child has difficulty forming clear and distinct sounds in speech – using a ‘w’ for an ‘r’ for example – their reading, writing and spelling may be negatively affected. That’s because beginning readers tend to sound words out – particularly if they read phonetically – so articulation problems can also affect the child’s spelling and vocabulary development.

Language problems – that is, delays or difficulties with vocabulary, linguistic or grammatical concepts – may impact all facets of a child’s academic learning. If a child has a root problem with hearing or auditory processing (the brain’s ability to interpret the sounds it absorbs) for instance, not only will they have an issue with language, but they may also be experiencing difficulty following directions in class. If they have an insufficiently developed vocabulary, they may struggle to label items correctly, to converse with adults or peers, or to generate complex sentences.

Some children experience a disconnect between receptive language (what they understand) and expressive language (what they use). They may have good comprehension and understand the words others speak to them, but don’t use the words themselves. Such children may understand the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ for example, but only use ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ in their own communication.

When it comes to speech and language development, children need repetition. They need to hear things multiple times in order to process that information, internalize it and then be able to use it in appropriate ways.

If you suspect a problem with your child’s speech or language development, it’s wise to seek a professional assessment. Speech-Language Pathologists draw on years of higher education and training in order to evaluate and treat a wide range of communication disorders and difficulties.

S.L. Hunter & Associates is here to help. Our team of dedicated, innovative Speech-Language Pathologists can assist in helping you help your child overcome their communication difficulties.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at