What is expressive language?
To put it simply, expressive language is talking. This is your child’s ability to join words to form sentences using the correct vocabulary and grammar. Expressive language is different to speech sounds and can be easily confused when listening to your child. Speech sounds are the way your child pronounces sounds in their words. Expressive language difficulties can affect your child’s ability to get their message across using spoken or written language.
Children can experience difficulties with their receptive language skills and expressive language skills and speech sound development or it can have difficulty in one of these areas only.
What are the symptoms of an expressive language delay?
The symptoms vary from child to child depending on their age. The following symptoms may indicate that your child is experiencing difficulties with their expressive language development:
- Difficulties using correct grammar
- Using short sentences for their age
- Not combining words to form sentences
- Using jargon
- Unfamiliar people find it difficult to understand your child
- Difficulties with holding a conversation
- Difficulties with finding the right word in a conversation
- Difficulties with retelling a story
- Difficulties with writing a story
The causes of expressive language
difficulties are often unknown.
A number of factors may be working together to contribute to your child’s difficulties. Family history is often the most likely indicator, although this may not always be the case. A child’s general cognitive development, exposure to language and personality can all impact on a child’s expressive language skills.
What is receptive language?
Receptive language is understanding. This is your child’s ability to understand the words they hear and/or read. Different receptive language skills are expected at different ages. The symptoms of children experiencing difficulties with their receptive language skills can be varied and will depend on their age.
What are the symptoms of a receptive language delay?
Some possible symptoms that may indicate your child is experiencing difficulties
with their receptive language skills include:
- Difficulties following instructions
- Difficulties understanding a complex sentence
- Difficulties answering questions
- Difficulties listening and responding in the classroom and at home
- Behaviour difficulties
- Repeating back what is said to them (echolalia)
- Difficulties with making and keeping friends
The causes of receptive language
difficulties are often unknown.
A number of factors may be working together to contribute to your child’s difficulties. Family history is often the most likely indicator, although this may not always be the case. A child’s general cognitive development, exposure to language and personality can all impact on a child’s receptive language skills.
What is a language delay?
A language delay occurs when a child’s language is developing slower than other children of the same age, but it is following the typical pattern of development. For example, a child may be 4 years of age, but understanding and/or using language typical of a child who may be only 2.5 years of age. Children with language delays, typically present with the following:
- are late talkers
- have limited vocabulary development
- find it difficult to express themselves
- do not understand well or experience difficulty following directions