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Speech and Language Therapy for Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Speech and Language Therapists assess and treat speech, language and communication difficulties in children with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Children with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder will need to relearn language skills that have been lost. However, it is not always possible for individuals with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder to regain their lost speech and language skills, in this instance the Speech and Language Therapist will work on maintaining and developing the child's current levels of communication.

The speech and language therapist will carry out a detailed assessment of the child's speech, language and communication skills to determine the type and severity of speech, language and communication difficulties the child has. An initial assessment will also help to determine what type of treatment will be appropriate for the child.

Speech and language therapy can provide a variety of treatment approaches for individuals with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, the type of treatment chosen will vary for each individual child. Each treatment plan will be tailored to the specific need and abilities of the child and will also be strongly influenced by the family's preference of what they want to gain from therapy.

Interventions that the Speech and Language Therapists may provide include the following:

  • Compensatory or adapted communication/swallowing techniques
  • Management of eating, drinking and swallowing
  • Advice on positioning during feeding and drinking
  • Expressive language skills programme
  • Receptive (understanding) language skills programme
  • Development of play skills
  • Activities or strategies to improve attention and listening skills
  • Communicative aids/devices if appropriate
  • Non-verbal communication skills

In more severe cases, where a child has no speech or very limited speech, the speech and language therapist will introduce and explore alternative ways of communicating. This is known as Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). AAC is any form of communication other than speech and may include:

  • Hi-tech communication aids e.g. electronic and computer communication aids.
  • Low-tech communication aids e.g. sign language, use of pictures, signs and symbols.

Speech and language therapy is very beneficial for individuals with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Speech and language therapy will help to maximise a child's communication to their full potential across their social, academic and home environments.

If you feel you would benefit from speech and language therapy and would like to arrange an assessment with one of our specialist speech and language therapists please contact us by emailing

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