Language Disorders

Receptive Language Delay - Receptive language refers to your child's understanding of language. Children must understand a language concept before they are able to express this concept verbally. Receptive language delays are diagnosed by using a combination of observation, parent/caregiver input, and tests. Examples of early receptive language concepts include the following:
  • Identifying pictures of objects or actions when asked, "Where is the ...?"
  • Following simple directions or commands
  • Understanding spatial concepts such as in/on/under/in front/behind/next to
  • Recalling details from stories
  • Making a prediction or inference about a story or situation
Expressive Language Delay - Expressive language refers to yoru child's use of language. Language consists of the content/word choices/grammatical changes and not how words are pronounced. Expressive language delays are diagnosed by using a combination of observation, parent/caregiver input, and tests. Examples of early expressive language concepts include the following:
  • Naming objects in pictures when asked, "What is that...?"
  • Combining words to make phrases or sentences
  • Answering what, where, and why questions 
  • Use "s" to show possession (ex: Mom's shirt) or plurals (ex: one dog; two dogs)
  • Telling a story with an introduction, sequenced events, characters, etc.

Language Processing - A language processing disorder is a type of language disorder that is notable for the following characteristics:
  • Trouble remembering common words 
  • Overuse of unspecific words such as "thing"
  • Talking "around" a word/concept when describing or telling a story
  • Overuse of a fillers such as "um" or "uh"
  • Overuse of, "I don't know," or "I forgot."
  • Requires many repetitions to learn new concepts
  • IQ within normal limits

Language processing disorders are diagnosed by your Speech-Language Pathologist using a variety of language tests. We will provide intervention to help strengthen areas of weakness and build upon areas of strength for your child's individual needs.


Please note: Children may show difficulty in one area or multiple areas. For example, one child may have only an expressive language delay, and another child may have both a receptive and expressive language delay. Your Speech-Language Pathologist will help determine your child's individual needs and develop a treatment plan to address areas of weakness. 

Please feel free to contact us if you should have any additional questions.