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Difficulties with Producing Language

Planning, organising and saying what we want to say involves many different skills. We have listed some of these skills below. A child may have difficulty in one or more of these areas. This will affect how well they express themselves.

Difficulties with vocabulary (semantics)

We need to put the right words in the right order to express ourselves clearly. We also need to have enough words and the 'right' ones to say what we want.


Some children find it hard to learn or recall words. Some have difficulty choosing the right word to use. This is sometimes called 'word-finding' or 'word-retrieval difficulties'.

Difficulties with forming sentences (grammar or syntax)

We need to know how to put words together so they make sense. Some children find it difficult to put words together in the right order. Some can miss words out of a sentence e.g. saying 'playing ball' instead of 'Doggy is playing with the ball’.

We need to know how the endings of words change when talking about the past or talking about more than one thing. Some children can have difficulty adding the right endings to words to show a different meaning e.g. saying 'I runned' instead of 'I ran'.


Difficulties with organising sentences and ideas

We need to link our sentences together in a logical order to make sense to other people.

Some children find it difficult to organise their ideas. Their speech may not follow a logical order. They may talk about lots of different topics in the same group of sentences. Some may find it difficult to plan what they want to say. They may need more time to organise their thoughts and language.

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