Expressive and Receptive Language Disorders: What are They?

Children all learn language and speech using the same acquisition methods, but they do not always learn at the same pace. Some children pick up language early and mimic and understand everything you say. Others may not express themselves through speech and have trouble understanding. This is called a language disorder. There are two main types of language disorders, expressive and receptive. In this piece, we will discuss them both.

Expressive Language is the ability to wield vocabulary and weave words together into sentences to get your point across. It covers literacy and communication (asking for things, making comments, getting people’s attention). People with expressive language disorder have difficulty expressing their thoughts and ideas.

Receptive Language is the ability to understand what is being said to you. In childhood development, understanding usually happens before expressive language. People with receptive language disorder have difficulty understanding what other people are saying.

To help you better understand expressive and receptive language disorders, we have included an informational video below.

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