Language is made up of the words we understand, use, and associate with our environment. Language has five main components: semantics (word meanings), pragmatics (function or rules of conversation), syntax (sentence structure), morphology (word beginnings and endings), and phonology (sound units).
A child with a language disorder may have difficulty understanding the message from others; this is called receptive language disorder. He may have trouble speaking with others and expressing thoughts and feelings; this is called expressive language disorder. A child may have both disorders at the same time.
A child with receptive language disorder may have difficulty:
- Understanding what people say
- Understanding gestures
- Understanding objects, concepts, and ideas
- Understanding what he or she reads
- Learning new words
- Following directions
A child with expressive language disorder may have difficulty:
- Using words and formulating sentences
- Expressing thoughts and ideas
- Telling stories
- Using gestures
- Asking / answering questions
- Labeling objects
Speech and language pathologists (SLPs) will:
- Evaluate the child’s expressive and receptive skills through play.
- Use various age-appropriate methods to develop the child’s language skills.
- Explain more about the techniques that are best for improving the child’s development. The use of toys, books, objects, and/or pictures will help to stimulate the language.