Expressive Language Disorder – How Can My Child Get Past It?

Expressive Language DisorderExpressive language disorder is a communication disorder involving the incapacity of a child to instinctively use language while conversing. Included in such deficits would be a lack of sentence structure and vocabulary development. One of every four children may have a level of expressive language disorder. This may be associated with a learning disability, environmental dynamics, or even mental retardation. Early intervention speech therapy is of the utmost importance when treating expressive language disorders.

Typically, expressive language disorders are experienced by children. This disorder may be developmentally related or acquired by a brain damaging head trauma. Either cause will relate to verbal apraxia and speech impediments. A child with expressive language disorder will find verbal expression difficult. This disorder will affect each child differently. Signs of the disorder may include difficultly in placing words and sentences together in a logical manner. Grammar is not properly used and vocabulary is minimal. Even though a child with an expressive language disorder may fully understand speech from their peers, verbal communication is not expressed as children of the same age. Recalling words to properly use in a sentence is also difficult. Although there is an explanation for expressive language disorders afflicted to a stroke or accident victim, there is continuing research being done to explore further causes and treatments of the speech disorders in children. There are presently no known causes for a developmental expressive language disorder. However, researchers believe the probable environmental aspect warrants continued studies along with biological explorations for the disorder. When diagnosing a child with expressive language disorder, speech communication will be found at a lower level than the child’s peers. Verbal and non-verbal tests will be used for diagnosis. Hearing should be part of the diagnostic agenda. With hearing deficits there will be speech insufficiency.

Speech therapist as well as parents will play a key role in the treatment of expressive language disorder in a child. It may take anywhere from months to years to overcome the acquired form of this disorder depending on the traumatic severity causing the language deficit. There is a positive prognosis for children with developmental expressive language disorder. With proper diagnosis and treatment, this disorder may be overcome by the time he or she is ready for high school. Early intervention with professional and personal support, expressive language disorder can be successfully defeated whether it is developmentally or accidentally acquired.

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