THE ESSENCE OF JOURNALING

Yesterday was a statutory public holiday in Ghana, hence I enjoyed my rest by continuing a plan I started 3 days ago on the YouVersion app on my phone -Making Time to Rest. Today being the 3rd day lists journaling as an essential part of the rest process.

Writing, especially self-exploratory writing done on a regular basis, has been linked to emotional well-being and a strong sense of self-knowledge and self-trust. Writing gives insight, it gives perspective, it’s a problem-solving technique, and it can serve as an outlet for bottled up emotions, unresolved trauma, or for creative expression. Journaling is a great way to introduce self-exploratory writing into your life.

Integrating journaling as part of our daily practice does not take a lot of skill. I discovered my life took on a different turn when I started journaling-writing down my life on the canvas of a book as the days progressed into weeks, the weeks into months, and the months into years.

I would like to do a throwback to when my Dad got me my first diary. I was just thrilled at the mere sight of it, and the thought I had a diary, but I did not know what I was going to fill it with.

I went through his old diaries on the shelf of our library to gain a fair idea of what to put in my new found love in the form of scribbling ink. His diaries had a mixture of appointments he had fixed under the different dates and excerpts from church activities he had attended in his youth with lots of bible verses in them. He made journaling fun.

Back to me, I found myself journaling the day’s activities at the end of the day in the journal. A skill I had picked up in one of the movies I had watched where a sailor stranded on a ‘no-man’s’ land kept writing his daily adventures in a book he took along. This had then become the main theme of the series.

I again tried to create interesting activities with the purpose of filling my diary with fun-filled activities. “The day I almost drowned when I went swimming for the first time” when I could have just stayed indoors and played video games, “The day I met Akosua on my way to buy prepaid credit at a distant place from home” when I could have saved cost by purchasing it a few miles from home and buying top up credit for my new phone with the extra money I had.

I have been writing something about my every day for almost 4 years now. It has been one of the greatest and most freeing experiences in my life because I can actually slow myself down to think about what’s truly happening around me as well as my part in it.

What is Journaling? As an adult there are many great benefits to journaling as part of a self-care routine. It helps clear out all the ‘junk’, sweeping your mind clean to allow for breathing space. By journaling and documenting our thoughts we are participating in a process of deeper personal understanding which can have a very positive impact on our own health.

Journaling generally involves the practice of keeping a diary or journal that explores thoughts and feelings surrounding the events of your life. There are several different ways to do this. Journaling, as a stress management and self-exploration tool, works best when done consistently, but even occasional, sporadic journaling can be stress relieving when the practice is focused on gratitude or emotional processing.

One of the most effective ways to reduce stress with journaling is to write in detail about feelings and thoughts related to stressful events, as one would discuss topics in therapy, but there are several different ways to practice journaling. The method you choose can depend on your needs at the time, and your personality; just do what feels right.

There are two writing techniques–or journaling methods–which can help make your journaling sessions more satisfying, efficient, and effective. These two methods are the following:

  1. Proprioceptive Writing
  2. Morning Pages

Proprioceptive Writing – consists of listening to your thoughts and slowing down the thought process to the time it takes to write down what you’re thinking. It involves inner listening and an honest exploration of your thoughts and feelings. In addition, it connects your mind with your emotions, and it strengthens your sense of self.

Morning Pages – As the name suggests, Morning Pages are to be done in the morning; the waking mind is more open to free-form writing and can more easily jump from one subject to another without the constraints set by reason.

Journaling allows people to clarify their thoughts and feelings, thereby gaining valuable self-knowledge. It’s also a good problem-solving tool; oftentimes, one can hash out a problem and come up with solutions more easily on paper.

Journaling reminds you of a life worth living. I like to think of journaling as “my life’s story”. That alone makes it fun, enjoyable, and inspiring to write a little about myself and what is going on with me every single day. After you have journaled continuously for some time and you look back on the things that you have written you may realize that your life is much more interesting and deep than you once thought. In fact, if you are down on yourself a lot, journaling is a great way to get around this and discover that your life is truly worth living.

Journaling about traumatic events helps one process them by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved, and by engaging both hemispheres of the brain in the process, allowing the experience to become fully integrated within one’s mind. Journaling can also help you to focus on areas of your life that you’re like to focus on more often.

When you start to write about your feelings and how situations in your life change your feelings you gain the ability to start to process those feelings. Rather than leaving feelings completely bottled up inside, you can put them down on paper and get them out of your heart and mind so you can process and understand them more which will lead to a more serene existence. This especially works well with feelings like anger, jealousy, resentment, etc. Putting these feeling out on paper and letting them take their course is a great way to stay balanced.

As for the health benefits of journaling, they’ve been scientifically proven. Research shows the following:

  1. Journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, and other health conditions.
  2. It improves cognitive functioning.
  3. It can strengthen immune system response.
  4. It can counteract many of the negative effects of stress.

The simple act of writing a few words, sentences, or paragraphs everyday can have a profound and instant effect on your life for the better. Journaling can change your life. It makes you a more interesting person through the years and makes you feel more interested in your life.

 

STRESS COPING MECHANISMS

26/07/2019. I was given the opportunity to create awareness on stress and the need to deploy measures to optimize their stress levels- by visiting Shalom Baptist Church.

A church filled with energetic and committed young individuals, I found myself leading a song and clapping to the tune of good praise songs, when I had made an entrance with the intention of delivering a well rehearsed presentation.

The head of the church? A Spirit- filled gentleman; Pastor Ernest Appiah. Thanks for pushing me up the podium to help people better their mental health and protect their mental space.

Because this was my first time to the place, I made a Queens move by exploring the area of Fawode, a suburb of Kumasi, before I entered the church.

With this blog post, I intend to educate my readers and liven their tastebuds on the need to adopt an unladen lifestyle which feeds on measures to reduce stress to the lowest limit, because long life is enjoyed when it is lived to the fullest.

So what is stress? Everyday English! Members of the church projected stress as the discomfort they felt they are stressed!The word itself looks stressful! Stresssss…

Just to ice the injury surrounding the word; stress is actually not a bad thing. The stress response; when working properly is the body’s way of protecting you. This helps you stay energetic, and alert, focused for the task at hand. Be it that exam drawing its ugly head close, that presentation you want to murder so intently, that girl you are dying so hard to ask out or your paralyzed legs which suddenly give in to full power when a dancing car heads your direction.

Your body realizes the frantic call for help and floods your system in a sea of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which float in your body, to rouse you for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, your muscles tighten, your blood pressure rises, your breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. Classic sympathetic response! These changes increase your strength and stamina, speed up your reaction time, and enhance your focus—preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand. At this point, I would advise you enter a comic shop and get yourself a cape with a mask.

However, beyond a certain point, stress halts being the vehicle of help and starts the engine that causes major damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships, and your quality of life.

This can lead to serious health problems by disrupting nearly every system in your body.

Like many of us in today’s demanding world, there’s the tendency to be subject to chronic stress, that our body undulates in a flux of stress all the time.

Chronic stress can

1. Suppress your immune system.

2. Upset your digestive and reproductive systems.

3. Increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

4. Speed up your aging process.

5. Finally rewire your brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

However, what causes stress depends largely on your perception of it. Some people may savor what rattles you and keeps you awake in the middle of the night. A terrifying experience of getting up in front of people to perform or speak, may be the spotlight others live for.

But bear in mind, There is always a way to regain your balance on the scale of whatever event or situation is stressing you out; by tilting towards the center of positive energy.

What are some of the ways to deal with stress effectively?

A TED talk by a renowned neuroscientist revealed we keep ourselves organized by finding a permanent home for basically everything we have, as a master key to dealing with stress. A locker for our folded clothes, A shelf for our books and a heart for our love letters.

Here are some tips to help you keep stress at bay.

1. Prayer. Research shows that people who are more religious or spiritual use their spirituality to cope with life. It is said they are able-bodied to cope with stress,heal faster from illness, and experience increased benefits to their health and well-being. On an intellectual level, spirituality connects you to the world, which in turn enables you to stop trying to control things all by yourself; throwing everything at the feet of the Creator. When you feel part of a greater whole, it becomes easy to understand that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in life.

2. Exercise. Regular exercise can lift your mood and serve as a distraction from worries, allowing you to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed stress. Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity that has its source from a boost of endorphins. Rhythmic exercises such as walking, running, swimming, and dancing are particularly effective in dealing with mind – leaching stress.

3. Connect to others. The simple act of talking face-to-face with another human can trigger hormones that relieve stress and soothe the nervous system; in the tantrums of agitation and insecurity. According to a study led by Sarah Townsend, an assistant professor at USC Marshall School of Business, The best person to provide measurable relief from stress is the one who genuinely understands your emotions and response. It could be that family friend, co- worker, sibling or spouse. Talk the stresss away!

4. Engage your senses. Does listening to an uplifting song make you feel calm? Everyone responds to sensory input a little differently, so experiment to find what works best for you. If you’re a visual person, try to manage and relieve stress by surrounding yourself with soothing and uplifting images. Slowly savoring a favorite treat could also be very relaxing, however mindless stress eating will only add to your stress and your waistline. It is recommended that you eat slowly and focus on the food in your mouth. You could also sip a steaming cup of coffee, tea or a refreshing cold drink just to wash that stress down your gut.

5. Learn to relax. You can’t be completely responsible for all life’s problems. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the polar opposite of the stress response. When practiced regularly, these activities reduce your everyday stress levels and boost feelings of joy and serenity, increasing your ability to stay calm and collected under pressure; always delivering that clutch performance- Michael Jordan style!

6. Eat a healthy diet. The food you eat can improve or worsen your mood and affect your ability to cope with life’s stressors. Eating a diet full of processed and convenience food, refined carbohydrates, and sugary snacks can worsen symptoms of stress, while a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help you better cope with life’s ups and downs.

7. Get your rest. Feeling tired can increase stress by causing you to think irrationally. At the same time, chronic stress can disrupt your sleep. Whether you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, there are plenty of ways to improve your sleep by adopting sleep hygiene methods. The aim of good sleep is you make you feel less stressed, more productive and emotionally balanced.

With these stress- hacking tips, I hope my attempt to enlighten you will probe your mental hands, into taking stress by its reins and mounting it appropriately.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!

Eliezer

This post is dedicated to Mr. Kofi Akowuah Kyei, the man who encouraged me to write this post on how to effectively deal with stress.

A TALE OF THE NIGHT

It was a cold, windy, starry night. Forget about the stars, but the wind was cold. A night you would not want to spend in a cramped place like this, but in the coziness of your duvets.

Time check- 9:25pm. All I could do was marvel at the manual dexterity my boss displayed after a month at MBU. Seeing every emergency case… left… right… centre as I was sturdily taking notes with my eyes.

You have a new patient to see ASAP” brought my attention to the fact that I wasn’t being just a spectator this evening.

I rushed to the scene and realized I was really on duty. “Please where is the glucometer? Kindly add the cotton wool. Pulse oximeter please?” I was basically asking for everything, including a pen. You know that feeling where you find yourself holding a fishing rod, when you have been a carpenter your whole life, and you are suddenly looking for a fish on the open seas?

The blue color stared right at me. It was time to leave the sea and face reality. This baby was blue!! From the head to the toes. “Can you please get me the pulse oxi..” stopping in my tracks after perceiving the dirty smirk it gave me on the working table.

Beep! 68%… 78%... beep! 30%.. Beeeep! 5%. Someone looked like he wanted to pop off on me. Amidst sweats on a cold evening, I was really on the seas.

“Get me the intranasal prongs to give oxygen” I struggled out. We might have to bag, considering the turn of events. It was right there, that I noticed the frown in the form of a cleft lip and palate.

My first patient for my first duty day and this is what you throw down my neck?

I checked the accompanying the Head Ticket- the piece of paper that wielded the information surrounding the delivery of the baby. The paper read boldly not hesitating. “ Baby is being sent to your unit with Prematurity, Multiple Congenital Abnormalities and Birth Asphyxia. “

Whiz words to the neoteric ears. 28 weeks of gestation? I started to examine the baby, ignoring the plenty beeps intentionally being thrown into my ears to throw me off balance.

Complete Head to Toe Examination. His small head appeared to extrude a soft bloody swelling at the back of his head; most likely containing his brain. His head wasnt well formed. His ears were malformed. His right eye looked like it had been sewn very tight. His flat nasal bridge made inserting the oxygen prongs very difficult. The gaze was intense with the cleft lip and palate. Beeeeep! 3%. Hard guy but you cant bag.

The sounds being played by his chest were melodic, that my stethoscope danced to the tune of it. There were times his lungs would sing at a high pitch and suddenly reach a descendo. These were signs of underdeveloped heart and lungs.

A glance at the genitals had a very ambiguous look. His feet, finally was the classic Rocker Bottom. Words are not enough to describe how he looked but be informed, theres a reason why a normal pregnancy is supposed to last 38 weeks or more.

The mother was the only hope now. A call placed to the labour ward induced the appearance of her head at the entrance. “How did he make it?” she asked, looked astounded, finding the baby alive. A question only God could answer.

It was then the story materialized. She was advised to take an obstetric ultrasound when her pregnancy hit the 7month mark. Unfortunately, the ultrasound blueprinted a baby not likely to survive after he was born; because he had a congenital anomaly. A disability he was likely to be born with.

Although congenital anomalies may be the result of a genetic, infectious, nutritional or environmental factors, it is often difficult to identify the exact causes.

I tried so hard to identify how this mishap happened. “Did you attend antenatal care?, Did you fall ill during the pregnancy? Did you take the prescribed drugs? Did you take any other drug, you shouldn’t have taken during the pregnancy?” All of her responses were music to my ears, making it difficult for the risk factor to be identified.

It was then the question clicked, just like the beep from the monitor. “Did you take herbal preparations?” I asked and her reply was sensational.

Indeed, she did take locally brewed enemas with the aim of making her unborn baby strong and preventing “asram”.

In conjunction with her husband, they had intended to terminate the pregnancy at a hospital, with the erudition from the doctor who performed the ultrasound scan.

Their plan, however was unsuccessful. The baby lived! But barely, with all these malformations. The question I kept on asking myself was why we overburdened ourselves with ignorance of these herbal preparations. You just name it. Any condition with the prefix of chronic attached is caused by our dear herbal preparations. “The dissolver of hernias” and “The smelters of fibroids”. But then the complex puzzle had been solved

Beeeep!! 1%, but then the call had to be made. The child could not be allowed to suffer any more. The blue discoloration worsened and he started to gasp for air.

It was then decided that, the mother shared the remaining seconds of the baby’s life, with him on his bed, on a cold, windy, starry night in the priceless duvet of her mother’s arms.

Beep sensed the reaction, took a few bows and left the scene – returning no more.

A minute later, the baby died, in the arms of her mother. I had no option than to console her, reminding her life had a purpose and everything happened for a reason. “Transfer body to the morgue” my pen concluded, making a diagnosis of Patau Syndrome.

Time check 11:30pm.

A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years, and in your heart until the day you die.”

-Mary Mason

Pregnancy is a special and crucial period for any woman. This is the time, she needs every possible care to ensure her health, and the health of her baby are perfect.

Advice any pregnant woman to visit the clinic regularly, take the prescribed drugs judiciously and avoid herbal preparations which could adversely affect her and the baby. The world needs a better you with everyone in it.

#SayNoToHerbalPreparations.

Thanks for reading.

Eliezer

FLOPPY BABY SYNDROME

On 20th May 2018, 09:05am, My Whatsapp alerted me of a link i had received from Jessie. Right after church, i was led to click the link; to add to the 665,700 people who had watched the video.

The link drove me right to Youtube with the opening words of “the Story of a Father’s Love” This seized my attention, but the 3MB of data remaining did not allow me to be great. I had no choice than to borrow a phone with active data connection just to watch the video.

This is the link to the video

https://youtu.be/aPCK4THZtng

After watching the video, I was really touched. I was amazed at the sacrifice and love demonstrated in the video. This was the remarkable story of a father’s devotion to his wheelchair- bound son and how their bond inspired millions of people worldwide.

Rick, born in 1962 was diagnosed of Cerebral Palsy, with the spastic quadriplegia subtype – This is just for start.

This resulted because his brain was deprived of oxygen, at the crucial time of his birth. His parents were advised to institutionalize Rick because he would be nothing more than a “vegetable”. There was no chance for recovery and little hope for him to live a “normal” life.

In spite of his disability, his parents treated him just like any other child; never losing hope. They ensured he had weekly access to medical care. Her mother went to the extent of teaching Rick, letters of the alphabet herself. He was seen beyond his physical limitations and integrated into the public school system. They were humiliated and had intense opposition, but they still fought on.

To top it all off, He graduated Boston university with a degree in Special Education.

Dick, a great father he was, sacrificed his energy and time just to put a smile on his son’s face. He worked on his fitness so much even with pushing his son, he was able to obtain a personal record of a 5km run in 17 minutes- just to provide his son with that able bodied feeling.

Over the next 3 and a half decades, they achieved and surpassed not only their goals, but also everyone’s expectations of a wheelchair bound adult son being carried and pushed by his father. They inspired millions by proving that anything could be done with stubborn persistence, dedication and bottomless depths of love that could only be found between a father and his son.

To learn more about them, you can visit their website: www.teamhoyt.com

What is cerebral palsy or floppy baby syndrome?

Cerebral palsy is the most common form of movement disability that begins in childhood. A majority of cases were identified to be caused by antenatal factors- factors that occurred during the pregnancy. However, it could also be caused by infections transmitted during delivery from mother to the baby.

Cerebral Palsy is considered a neurological disorder that occurs when the child’s brain is under development in the early stages of life.

Children who are born preterm (before 38 weeks of pregnancy) are vulnerable to brain damage leading to cerebral palsy. Even after a baby is born, accidental injury and infections such as meningitis could result in cerebral palsy.

Such children are identified to be at risk in the first days of life. Their usual presentation includes an abnormal posture. They could feed poorly and throw up everything they eat, because they coordinate swallowing badly.

Cerebral Palsy affects their ability to control their muscles. Their muscles either contract too much or too little. Their arms and legs can be stiff and be forced into painful, awkward positions. Fluctuating muscle contractions can make their body tremble, writhe, shake and bake.

Balance, posture, and coordination can also be affected by Floppy Baby Syndrome.Tasks such as walking, grasping objects, sitting and tying shoes may be difficult.

My first encounter as a doctor, with such children was at the pediatric emergency unit some weeks ago. A 9year old child was brought to the hospital because he had convulsions. Just from appearance, his small for age stature made his small head conspicuous. Even at the age of 9, he only smiled. He had not made any attempt to walk and talk. He was discharged home the next 5 days after his seizures were controlled to continue rehabilitative care.

Other complications of Cerebral Palsy to take note of, are: intellectual impairment, seizures, and vision/hearing impairment.

A few points I would like us to bear in mind

1.Cerebral Palsy is non-life-threatening so it is expected affected children live into adulthood.

2.Cerebral Palsy is incurable but the effects on the body can be managed.

3.Cerebral Palsy is not contagious; it is not communicable.

4.Cerebral Palsy itself will not change for better or worse during a person’s lifetime.

5.Cerebral Palsy is manageable. Treatment, therapy, surgery, medications and assistive technology can help maximize independence, and incorporate the child into the society, leading to an enhanced quality of life.

It is said that, every case of Cerebral Palsy is unique to the individual. One person may have total paralysis and require constant care, while another with partial paralysis might have slight movement tremors and still require little assistance.

To all the children living with Cerebral Palsy, I would love to end with a note from Joshua 1:9

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Say a prayer for all the children living with cerebral palsy after reading this. Lets make the world a better place with them in it.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!

Eliezer

Photocredit: Google Images.

FROZEN ABDOMEN

He was the talk of the news which kept every radio and tv station grimacing to the utterance of his name. How he rose to such fame was unknown by all and sundry.

He was known in the entertainment industry as “the Pop”. I had access to him because we were connected by blood – After I had a spill on my glove as i tried to take a blood sample from his vein.

He had built a huge mansion for himself, kept family on the outskirts of his life and surrounded himself by the people he thought loved him; neglecting the same people who had been with him, as he sprawled in the sands of poverty and the air of nothingness.

In this mansion, he had a wedded wife, with who God had blessed with three fine daughters. His daughters were his pride that he held them in amour-propre, ensuring they had the best of education by enrolling in one of the top schools in the country.

As the weeks went by, he came across a very strange inheritance as his value kept soaring- another woman; who would satisfy his passion, in the absence of the other woman and her daughters. The woman who would sift through the bits and pieces of his hefty bank account with her extravagant living; leeching it as she toured the luxurious restaurants and shops in town; raiding them through the cold touch of her mouth and hands.

Church was a wisp to his ears now. He spent his Sunday mornings either dining at expensive food joints with his new found friends, or offsetting from the exquisite wines he had consumed the previous night. To him, luxury was acquired through sheer persistence and hardwork; and so he didn’t realize the need to give attribution to God, abstracting the fact that his sixth phone which kept notifying him of his bank account alerts was his own idol.

He bought himself a gym at home because he loved to watch her wife run on the treadmill- to develop quick feet to run away from home with her daughters sooner or later.

It was all a matter of time, he was hit by the knuck chuck of fate and destiny. He presented to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. His abdomen kept getting bigger and bigger with the glissade of time. He had not emptied his bowels in a week, and spewed everything he ate; surprisingly, containing blood every time.

He sojourned different hospitals with the aim of recovery, but he was unlucky.

On 28th May 2015, there he was, on the hospital bed, on the verge of death. He couldnt control his tears as he divulged his past. He had sold his mansion and cars to pay off his hospital bills and lost quite a considerable amount of weight. Sadly, he had no asset to pass down to his family, just a bucket of tears.

His friends had foreseen this and blacklisted his contact number. The only people he had close to his hospital bed was his lovely wedded wife, and his three daughters who visited him day and night.

It was decided he endured the last of the surgeries; to relieve the plague, obstructing his intestines.

Everything was set for the final day after he had undergone prior lab tests. He had the notion of returning to normal after enduring this “last and only surgery”. Little did he know what would stare at the face of his surgeon.

Following this, I wanted to be in the operating room to observe how things would transpire.

On that day, the man was laid on the table and put to sleep. His abdomen was wiped clean give the surgeon the green light to cut and tie, with his doubled-up white gloves.

15mins into the surgery, the surgeon frustrated, was closing up the skin – “Surgery unsuccessful, it is a frozen abdomen.” The sound of the word frozen sent chills down my abdomen.

The tumour of his stomach had spread to involve the whole of his abdomen thereby, leaving him with a condition called “frozen abdomen” that would make further surgical intervention dangerous.

He was sent to the ward, and managed palliatively, until he went back to his Maker.

Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in the world, and it remains difficult to cure, primarily because most patients present with advanced disease. Unfortunately, only a minority of patients with gastric cancer will be cured of their disease.

Signs and symptoms of gastric cancer include the following:

1. The feeling of fullness right after eating.

2. Loss of appetite.

3. Vomiting, which could contain blood.

4. Passing feces which are blood stained.

In the late stages, there could be weight loss, breathlessness and jaundice.

Things that can increase your chance of developing a gastric cancer include smoking, obesity, eating very salty food, having an ulcer of your stomach and lastly, when someone in your lineage has been diagnosed of a gastric cancer.

Cancer of the stomach can extend to obstruct your intestines. It can also cause the “frozen abdomen” by invading the structures in your abdomen; thereby sticking them together like a freezer. I know you didn’t see the rhyme.

When you present to the hospital and gastric cancer is confirmed, it is important to start treatment right away, to prevent further spread and early death. Treatment could include surgery to remove the tumor, and the use of radiation and drugs to kill the tumour cells.

Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your chances of having stomach cancer, but there is no guarantee you can prevent it.

Exercising, reducing salty food intake, and consuming fruits and vegetables are known to protect against gastric cancer so stay safe for a better tomorrow!

Eliezer

#DoctorDiaries

LANGUAGE

Language is one of the most cognitive functions any individual can possess. It is an indirect mark of power; whatever you say can make you and break you.Language entails the ability to comprehend what you are being told, and the ability to express yourself. Children who experience language problems may have difficulty understanding what they are being told, interpreting what they hear and following instructions and explanations.

Being able to express yourself depends on your artillery of vocabulary in combination with the skill to produce the needed word to construct a meaningful sentence at any given time. Speech production difficulties include problems affecting the ability to flow between words, the ability to articulate and word naming. Some children have problems with forming a sequence with similar words, others find it difficult to control the speed and rhythm at which their words flow. Their speech may be inappropriate in tone, incongruent and hesitant- stammering between words.

Sometimes, there are problems with word retrieval, which implies they are unable to find the exact word when needed. A handful of the children also find it difficult to construct sentences, organize narratives and use grammar acceptably. With others, their problem stems from their with phonetic background, which adversely affects their reading ability, writing and mathematics.

Some children with semantic problems have trouble learning the meaning of words, thus are likely to use words out of context (not contest).

Language weaknesses can interfere with the ability to recall concepts learnt in the contest areas, such as sciences and social studies courses which entails the processing and utilization of abstract concepts. All academic skills are largely taught through language therefore it’s not surprising that a majority of children with language problems underperform academically. This can even affect the how the kids socialize.

Interestingly, children who possess very strong language skills are able to use their linguistic ability to compensate for any academic problems.

In approaching a child with disordered language, it is important to identify what is causing the speech problem and tackle it appropriately.

The first step in evaluating the problem is to rule out a hearing problem. If no hearing issues are found, you can seek an evaluation from a speech therapist. A speech therapist can work one on one with your child to build his vocabulary and improve his grammar.

Also if the child has emotional difficulties as a result of language issues, you might want to consider psychological help.

However, what you can do as a parent at home is to communicate with your child as much as you can. Listen to your child, give your child ample time to respond and resist the temptation to fill in the silence.

It is noted that Some kids with language disorders may also have related conditions which includes dyslexia, ADHD, and mental health disorders, so seek help for the child now!

Eliezer