Children with TOS: “It’s not due to a lack of reading or talking to your child” | family

It is believed that about 5 percent of children suffer from a developmental language disorder (TOS). Language and speech development is different in children with TOS. This often results in children also having to deal with other cognitive challenges or limitations. What makes TOS so complex and what can you do as a parent?

TOS is a language problem that cannot be explained by obvious brain damage, intelligence problems, hearing loss, physical problems or social and emotional problems (Kamphuis and Hermsen, 2015). Research into the cause of language development disorders is still ongoing, but possible causes include genes (heredity), brain structure, activity in the brain or brain capacity.

How do you know if a child has TOS? Sometimes a child is thought to not be very smart, or to have a developmental delay or some form of autism, Kentalis reports. Koninklijke Kentalis is a Dutch organization that provides research, care and education for people with hearing and communication disabilities because they are deafblind, deaf or hard of hearing, or because they have communication problems due to a disorder of language development or autism with speech and language problems. According to Kentalis, the risk of not recognizing TOS in time is greater in multilingual children.

slow talker

Marit (a name known to the editors) is Finn and Tom’s mother. Six years ago, she called the counseling office herself because she was worried that her son, who is about three years old, could only speak a few words. The advisory office indicated that he would be slow to speak and that he would be fine. With much pain and effort I got a referral to speech therapy. Once we got into speech therapy, things went quickly and within a few months we were able to go to Adelante, an organization that specializes in, among other things, language and speech problems. Adelante was diagnosed with TOS in Tum.”

“I can candy”

Terms of service can vary in severity and appearance. Children may have problems with speech (phonology or motor skills of speech), with language comprehension or language production, or with combinations thereof. Therefore TOS manifests itself differently in each child. Children with TOS sometimes don’t talk or talk very little. They can also swap sounds (“laugh” instead of “frog”) or delete sounds (“TV” instead of “TV”). Sometimes children have difficulty coming up with a word, know few words or don’t understand well. Children can get angry if they are not understood or do not understand someone correctly. Sometimes the disorder appears because children mainly make short sentences or make many mistakes.

Marit: “Tom has problems with articulating sounds and sentence design. For example, he doesn’t say ‘Can I have a candy bar? Tab until five.


These children usually find it difficult to understand their own feelings and thoughts and orient themselves

Constance Visers

Why should I disclose terms of service (quickly)?

“The problems of children with TOS are complex; it often goes beyond problems with language and speech alone. We know that when language development falters, these children also have problems in other cognitive areas. Children usually have difficulty understanding their feelings and thoughts,” says Constance Visers. and managing themselves.” Visser is a professor by special appointment and a senior researcher at Kentalis. On May 25, she delivered her inaugural lecture at Radboud University Nijmegen, answering the question “How does a neuropsychological perspective on disorders of language development (TOS) contribute to appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and education For children and young adults with TOS? “

Can you as a parent do something about the Terms of Service?

“Sometimes I think: Could I have done more myself?” Marit says. She understands that there are still sometimes biases about terms of service. As a parent, you may not be reading or speaking properly or it may be due to your upbringing in some way. Vissers firmly answers: “In TOS, it’s not about reading too little or not talking enough with your child. TOS is a neurocognitive language acquisition disorder. TOS falls into the category of neurodevelopmental disorder, which also includes ADHD and autism. It is a disorder “In early brain development leads to a brain that is not optimally connected. As a parent, you can’t do anything about it.”

“Once a TOS diagnosis has been made, it is important to stimulate language development,” Visser emphasizes. “It is important to expand the world for a child with TOS and motivate them as widely as possible. At home, in care and education.”

Visser acknowledges that it can be a challenge for parents. “If communication is difficult, as a parent you can sometimes be tempted to speak less. For example, if there is a lot of frustration. It is important to keep doing that, to keep engaging in dialogue. Immerse your child in a language bath.”

Kentalis shares a number of tips for parents of children with TOS:

Be expressive. Don’t just say, “Pick up your seat,” make that clear. This is how you teach the child the meaning of your words. You can also do this with photos, pictures or objects.

Do not correct your child, but just repeat what he said in the correct way

Keep checking with your child if he understands you. Children are easily ashamed if they do not understand something, and therefore do not always dare to say it.

Another feature of TOS is that it is sometimes difficult to name emotions. As a result, feelings can run high at times. Find ways to identify and name feelings. There are many children’s books that focus on feelings.

Continue to talk to and with your child, even if he says little in return.

Children are more likely to communicate if they are interested in something and can take the initiative themselves.

Karen continued to listen, don’t worry, everything will be fine. However, it was revealed that her son had a language developmental disorder (TOS). Read her story on Ouders van Nu.

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