Undetected Communication Problems,
Their Impact and Why They are Undetected
In the last two chapters I have argued that communication and emotional development are interlinked, so it is unsurprising that disorders of communication and emotional and behavioural difficulties tend to occur together. More than half of young people who have emotional and behavioural difficulties of various kinds have communication difficulties and a similar number of young people with communication difficulties also have behavioural or emotional problems. However, these links have not always been recognised and are still not obvious to everyone working with children who have emotional and behavioural difficulties.
More seriously, there is a growing body of evidence that shows that many children with emotional and behavioural problems have communication difficulties which have not been detected. The consequences of this are serious for the young people involved. They seem to be at greater risk of communication difficulties than other young people, and these difficulties have serious negative effects on behaviour and emotional development, social interaction and learning. If a young person has undetected communication difficulties, they are at risk of potential misdiagnosis and inappropriate interventions. Consequently, the issue of previously undetected communication problems has considerable implications for anyone working with children who have emotional and behavioural difficulties.
In order to appreciate the scale of communication difficulties amongst children with emotional and behavioural problems, it is important to consider how often communication difficulties occur in general. However, this is not straightforward. It is difficult to determine how many children in the general
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Publication information: Book title: Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and Communication Problems: There Is Always a Reason. Contributors: Melanie Cross - Author. Publisher: Jessica Kingsley. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 61.
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