How to Recognize a Receptive Language Disorder

Receptive Language Disorder

A receptive language disorder can often fly under the radar until a child is school-aged. Is can be difficult to recognize a receptive language delay in children under 3 years old. When learning letters and how to read, parents and teachers often begin to see signs a child is struggling. Receptive language disorders affect how well someone gathers the meaning of what other people are saying. Children with receptive language delays have trouble understanding words and connecting them with ideas. They can also miss the nuanced meanings of what other people are saying. All of these things affect the child’s ability to learn to read and write, which can have a significant impact on their education.

A receptive language disorder can also make it difficult to connect with people, and it can cause people to withdraw in social situations. This type of disorder shows up in early childhood. Kids that have receptive language disorder can show the signs and symptoms as early as prekindergarten.

How to Recognize a Receptive Language Delay

Signs a child may have a receptive language delay include:

  • Difficulty following complex directions
  • Problems understanding gestures
  • Struggling to understand concepts and ideas
  • Difficulty learning alphabet, spelling, and reading
  • Having trouble learning new words and identifying objects
  • Giving answers that seem “off”
  • Frequently interrupt people when they are speaking
  • Difficulty with recall/memory
  • Not understanding jokes

Currently, there is no singular cause of receptive language disorder. Often, there is no known reason for this disorder, but it can be related to certain conditions. Receptive language disorder can be related to autism, congenital disabilities, or problems in pregnancy or during birth. If this disorder is diagnosed later in life, it can be caused by an illness or brain injury.

Diagnosing and Treating a Receptive Language Disorders

A receptive language disorder can be diagnosed by a speech language pathologist. The speech pathologist will complete a full speech and language evaluation to determine if your child has a language delay. Receptive language disorders can be diagnosed at any age, but early detection can allow for the best treatment.

With children, speech and language disorders are treated by helping the child relax and enjoy communication through play. Your child’s speech-language pathologist will use age-appropriate games to help your child get better at language and communication. They may use books, games, objects, or pictures to help with language development. They also may practice answering questions with your child and using social activities.

While your child’s speech language pathologist will lead the way in your child’s treatment, there are plenty of things you can do at home that can help. You can help by reading and conversing with your child, asking your child open ended questions, encouraging your child to ask questions, and pointing out words on signs.

Once diagnosed, your child will work with a speech-language pathologist to develop better communication skills. Therapy centers around age-appropriate games, allowing the child to relax and enjoy communication through play. Often, a speech-language therapist will be available through your child’s school system. Connect Teletherapy also offers private online speech therapy services for families. Contact us for more information.