Parent ResourcesReceptive and Expressive Language Explained - North Valley Pediatric Therapy

Is your child not saying as many words as their same-aged peers? Are they having difficulty following directions and answering simple questions? Your child may have a language disorder that can be evaluated by a certified speech-language pathologist. It is important to understand the difference between expressive and receptive language so you are able to understand your child’s needs.

Receptive language is the ability to understand and comprehend spoken language. Typically, receptive language develops strongly before the production of language.

Children who have difficulty understanding language may struggle with:

● Following directions
● Answering questions
● Identifying objects
● Understanding a story
● Reading comprehension

Speech therapy is found to be helpful in improving receptive language. A speech language pathologist will use a variety of informal and formal assessments to determine areas of weakness. A plan is then created to best fit the needs of your child. Expressive language is the ability to express wants and needs through non-verbal (gestures and facial expressions) or verbal (words and sentences) means of communication. It is also the ability to put words and phrases into grammatically correct sentences.

Children who have difficulty producing language may struggle with the following:
● Naming objects
● Asking questions
● Using gestures and facial expressions
● Making comments
● Using words to express wants and needs
● Vocabulary
● Grammatical structure

Speech therapy is effective in improving expressive language delays. The speech-language pathologist will work hard to give the child the tools and strategies needed to communicate their ideas.
If you have concerns regarding your child’s language development, please contact our office regarding the steps to schedule a speech-language evaluation with one of our highly trained and knowledgeable speech-language pathologists.



Blog by:

Ashley I. – MS, CCC-SLP

(Speech-Language Pathologist)






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Copyright by North Valley Pediatric Therapy. All rights reserved.

Copyright by North Valley Pediatric Therapy. All rights reserved.

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