Comprehension Skills and Techniques

Our speech pathology services

Helping children understand spoken and written communication

One of the foundations to speaking and communicating is understanding the information you’re receiving in both written and spoken messages. In speech pathology terms, we call this comprehension of language or receptive language.

This includes understanding concepts, following directions and instructions and answering questions. Your child may seem to have trouble paying attention, or they might frequently ask for you to repeat what you said. They may also only do part of what they were asked to do or have difficulty answering questions. As language underpins all learning, it is important to address any concerns about receptive language understanding as early as possible.

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Where comprehension breakdown occurs

There can be several points where you child doesn’t have the skills to understand what’s being communicated. This includes:

  • Word level – understanding of words and how they relate to each other
  • Sentence level – understanding of sentences and the changes in meaning that arise from changes in grammar, or understanding longer sentences
  • Understanding of paragraphs including summarising and the main idea
  • Understanding of whole texts and the difference reasons we might read a page of writing
  • Listening and attention skills.

We can help you to work out exactly what is happening for your child and tailor therapy according to where they need it most. We use your child’s strengths to help support the areas that need development.

Comprehension Skills and Techniques

We can help you work out exactly what is happening for your child and tailor therapy according to where they need it most

Download our 2 year old checklist

Early intervention is proven to be successful with children who are late talkers. We can help to identify any potential issues and work with you to provide effective, evidence-supported strategies to support your child’s speech and language development.

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Reading comprehension

Your child might be reading, but are they really understanding? Reading comprehension problems are very common – they might occur because of underlying language difficulties, or because a child has difficulty with the mechanics of reading. Just because your child doesn’t understand it doesn’t mean that they aren’t intelligent, but reading comprehension difficulties will impact on their ability to learn at every level.

Reading comprehension skills for children

Listening comprehension

There are many factors that impact on how difficult it is to understand what is said to you. Consider the length of the instruction, and the words and concepts that it includes. Some concepts are an essential part of classroom instructions (for example ‘first’, ‘then’, ‘last’) or the school curriculum (for example ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘most’). Some questions involve simple language and ideas (for example ‘What is this?’) while others are more abstract (for example ‘Why didn’t the boy want the ice cream?’).

Listening comprehension skills for children

Writing comprehension

Children with language processing difficulties often face challenges with writing. This can include understanding how to adapt writing styles and language use for different purposes, for example storytelling compared to informational reports. We can work with your child to know how to structure their writing appropriately and build their awareness of text purpose, structure and language features. This includes developing an understanding of paragraph structure, summarising and main idea.

Writing comprehension skills for children

Support tailored to your child

After an assessment to identify which areas of comprehension are difficult for your child, we’ll tailor our approach to your child drawing on evidence-backed approaches. We’ll work with you and your child to set goals and equip you with strategies you can build into your family life, and preschool or school, to help enhance your child’s comprehension and understanding.

Our approach is effective, flexible and, above all, fun.

Comprehension Skills and Techniques for children

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