After a pediatrician referral, a gentle nudge from family or friends, or just great parent intuition, you may find yourselves taking your child for a formal speech and language assessment with a speech-language pathologist (SLP). Upon reviewing assessment results, you may receive a diagnosis such as this: "Your child has a receptive [expressive, or mixed] language disorder". This diagnosis can be confusing and possibly scary. Let's break down what these language difficulties mean so you can move forward with therapy for your child.
Receptive Language Disorder
Simply stated, receptive language is what we hear and understand. When your child has difficulty understanding what you say, or doesn’t seem to listen, it may be a receptive language problem, that is not due to any kind of defiance or refusal to comply what you said. It could be a problem with understanding what your words mean or not recalling what you say long enough to remember, understand, and respond to it. Having problems following directions or understanding what you say may lead your child to feel inadequate or sad about not living up to what you expect of him or her. It can lead to problems with reading.
Expressive Language Disorder
In contrast to receptive language, your child’s expressive language abilities are based the ability to speak or "use" language. Difficulty with planning what to say and then saying it may make it hard for your child to respond, comment, or converse with others. Your child may struggle to find the right words to speak in complete sentences, use age-appropriate vocabulary, answer questions, formulate thoughts, or request information. When your child has difficulty talking, it can affect how he or she feels about him or herself, makes friends, relates with others, and gets needs met. It can lead to problems with writing using language as well.
Mixed Receptive/Expressive Language Disorder
Just as the name sounds, a mixed receptive/expressive language disorder means there are problems with both understanding and using language. This may cause your child to feel inadequate, lonely, frustrated, and less capable of learning new things.
Language Disorder Diagnosis...Now What?
Our speech-language pathologists know what to do! A dynamic assessment by one of our skilled therapists will help identify if any language problems exist, what kind they are, what techniques work to advance your child’s ability to communicate, and how to appeal to your child’s sense of fun and desire to interact and learn new skills.
Your child’s speech therapist is also happy to recommend ways that you can make it easier for your child to communicate during your normal, daily interactions and routines. Depending upon your child’s needs and availability, you may choose to have therapy sessions from 1-5 days/week for recommended periods of time.
Terra Caswell, M.S., CCC-SLP
Home Speech Therapy, PLLC
Please call for a free consultation (361) 903-4342 or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the Home Speech Connection! This blog allows each of the SLP's of Home Speech Therapy, PLLC the opportunity to share with you on a variety of speech and language topics. We would love to hear from you and welcome your comments and discussion regarding speech and language development and disorders.