Expressive vs. Receptive Language

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Expressive vs. Receptive Language

Why is expressive and receptive language important?

We use expressive and receptive language skills to communicate with others effectively. If a person has trouble understanding others or sharing thoughts, ideas and feelings, the person may have a language disorder. A language disorder can be a receptive or expressive language disorder. To determine if your child has receptive or expressive language difficulties, it is important to understand the difference between receptive language and expressive language.

Receptive language is the “input” of language, the ability to understand and comprehend spoken language that you hear or read. For example, a child’s ability to listen and follow directions (e.g. “put on your coat”) relies on the child’s receptive language skills. In typical development, children are able to understand language before they are able to produce it. Children who are unable to comprehend language may have receptive language difficulties or a receptive language disorder.

Children who have difficulty understanding language may struggle with the following:

•Following directions

•Understanding what gestures mean

•Answering questions

•Identifying objects and pictures

•Reading comprehension

•Understanding a story

How to improve receptive language: Speech language therapy is highly effective in improving receptive language skills. A speech language pathologist will use a variety of informal and formal assessments to determine a child’s specific receptive language weaknesses. A comprehensive treatment plan is created for each child. Goals may focus on attention and concentration, vocabulary, understanding of grammar, figurative language, comprehension strategies and following directions. Speech therapy for receptive language is specific to each child’s unique needs. Improving receptive language skills will allow a child to fully and independently participate in their daily activities.

What is expressive language?

Expressive language is the “output” of language, the ability to express your wants and needs through verbal or nonverbal communication. It is the ability to put thoughts into words and sentences in a way that makes sense and is grammatically correct. Children that have difficulty communicating their wants and needs may have expressive language difficulties or an expressive language disorder. For example, children may have expressive language difficulties if they are unable to tell you when they need to use the bathroom or when they are hungry.

•Children who have difficulty producing language may struggle with the following:

•Asking questions

•Naming objects

•Using gestures

•Using facial expressions

•Making comments

•Vocabulary

•Syntax (grammar rules)

•Semantics (word/sentence meaning)

•Morphology (forms of words)

How to improve expressive language: Speech therapy is effective in improving expressive language delays and deficits. Expressive language therapy focuses on giving each child the tools and strategies they need to communicate their needs, thoughts and ideas to the world.

If you have questions about your child’s language development we’d be happy to help. Schedule a free phone consultation or complete TherapyWorks “get started” form to set up a teletherapy evaluation for your child.

 

Receptive and Expressive Language Teletherapy

TherapyWorks has built a large network of therapists with a variety of backgrounds, all of whom hold a masters or doctorate degree in their field and have significant experience working with expressive and receptive language delays and disorders. Our extensive talent pool enables us to thoughtfully match each child with a therapist that has the right training and experience based on that child’s specific needs. The result is effective, successful therapy. 

What is Teletherapy? 

COVID-19 Protocol

We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.


Hand Washing:
Upon arrival at your home, your therapist will wash their hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer. We ask that you and your child also wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon your therapist’s arrival.
 
Facemasks:
We are asking our therapists to wear masks upon entering your home and throughout your child’s session. That said, we understand that some children have adverse reactions to seeing adults in masks and will leave it up to you and your therapist to decide your comfort level while still taking safety precautions.
 
We ask that parents and caregivers also follow the guidelines and wear masks when sitting in on sessions. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
 
As for your child, we realize that masks may not be appropriate for every child so we will not enforce the rule that children over the age of 2 should wear a mask.  However, if your therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well.

 

Protocol Acknowledgment and Health Certification:

Before your child’s first in-person session, we are asking clients to submit an acknowledgment of these protocols and a health certification, which you can find here. Thank you again for your cooperation and for helping all of us stay healthy!