top of page


  • Children with expressive language difficulty have a hard time conveying or expressing information in speech, writing, sign language or gesture.

  • Some children are late in reaching typical language milestones in the first three years, but eventually catch up to their peers. These children are commonly referred to as ‘late-talkers’. Children who continue to have difficulty with verbal expression may be diagnosed with expressive language disorder or another language impairment.


  • Children have difficulties combining words to form accurate phrases and sentences. For example, a child may not use the correct form of the verb tense (they might say ‘I goed’ when they mean ‘I went’) or they might omit important grammatical words (they might say ‘I going’ when they mean ‘I am going’).

  • They typically produce much shorter phrases and sentences than other children of the same age, and their vocabulary (the number of words they know and use) is smaller and more basic.

  • Children with expressive language disorder are usually below the average level for their age in:

  • putting words and sentences together to express thoughts and ideas

  • recalling words

  • using language appropriately in a variety of settings with different people (for example, at home, in school, with parents and teachers).


  • When an individual has difficulties with understanding what is heard or read.

  • Most children with language comprehension usually begin before the age of four years old.

  • The cause of Receptive Language Difficulty is unknown, but could be a number of factors working in combination, such as:

  • genetic susceptibility

  • child’s exposure to language

  • Receptive Language Difficulty can often be associated with developmental disorders (Autism or Down Syndrome), brain injury (trauma), tumor or disease. Some children may just have difficulty with reception of language and this may be the only developmental problem they experience.


  • Not seeming to listen when they are spoken to

  • Appearing to lack interest when storybooks are read to them

  • Inability to understand complicated sentences

  • Inability to follow verbal instructions

  • Language skills below the expected level for their age.

  • May show difficulty organizing their thoughts

  • Taking a long time to respond to a question

  • Naming a general category instead of a specific word (ex. Saying “food” instead of “cake”)

  • Being quick to say “I don’t know” in response to a question

  • Having difficulty understanding humor or idioms

Please reach out to us if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
bottom of page