Expressive Language DisordersHouston, TX
Children with expressive language disorder have trouble communicating, either verbally or on paper. They may or may not also have receptive language disorders, which affects their ability to understand language. Because language is an essential part of everyday life, therapy for expressive language disorders can significantly improve a child's overall quality of life.
Treatment for expressive language disorders is available at Small Talk Therapy Services in Houston. We know that it is distressing to see your child withdrawn and isolated. Call us today at (832) 900-1198 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.
Understanding Expressive Language Disorder
Expressive language disorder is a condition in which children experience difficulty conveying language. Language in this scenario can refer to gestures, sign language, speech, or writing. It is not uncommon for some children to lag behind their peers when it comes to reaching certain developmental milestones. However, most catch up by age three or four. Those who do not may be diagnosed with expressive language disorder or another condition.
It is important to note that expressive language disorder alone generally does not affect a child’s ability to read, listen, or produce sounds. Still, expressive language disorder is often comorbid with other disabilities and disorders. It is particularly common for children to have mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, where children have trouble both understanding and expressing language.
Symptoms of Expressive Language Disorder
As the name suggests, children with expressive language disorder have trouble expressing themselves. Consequently, it is difficult for others to understand them. Children with expressive language disorder may have smaller vocabularies than their peers. They may use imprecise language, referring to "things" and "stuff" rather than anything specific, because they cannot remember the names of things.
Similarly, children with expressive language disorder may not understand which verb tenses and pronouns to use. They may skip over pronouns and verbs altogether or stumble over words. To compensate, they may use short sentences or repeat words back when spoken to.
All of these factors, of course, makes it difficult for children with expressive language disorders to progress in school. They may have trouble asking questions and find it challenging to learn songs or rhymes.
Causes of Expressive Language Disorder
There is no clear-cut answer to the cause of expressive language disorder, especially as it varies on a case-by-case basis. However, evidence suggests that genetic factors may be a contributing factor. Malnutrition, lack of needed vitamins, and damage to the brain are other potential causes.
Additionally, language disorders, in general, are often linked to other health issues. It is not uncommon for children with autism or Down syndrome to also have expressive language disorder, for example. Congenital disabilities or problems in pregnancy may also lead to expressive language disorder in the future. Fragile X syndrome, brain tumor or injury, and cerebral palsy, for example, are common contributing factors.
Diagnosing and Treating Expressive Language Disorder
In addition to asking about the child's language use, our qualified healthcare professional may look at the child's medical history as part of the diagnosing process. The child may also undergo a physical exam and hearing tests. Diagnosis and treatment is often a “team effort” between a doctor and a speech pathologist.
Our speech therapist can use close observation to assess the child's needs and abilities. This may be done in a group setting or a one-on-one environment, depending on what the speech therapist decides is best for the child. During this evaluation period, we will assess the child for how they speak, listen, follow directions, understand what things are called, repeat phrases or rhymes, and complete other language activities.
At Small Talk Therapy Services, once a diagnosis has been made, our team will begin creating an individualized treatment plan tailor-made to fit the child's unique needs. This may involve group or individual language therapy. We may also decide to conduct speech pathology sessions and home programs for your family. Furthermore, it may be possible for the child to benefit from special education classes, teacher's aide support, or other school-based language intervention programs. Parents can ask the child's school to learn more.
Call Us Today
Proper intervention for expressive language disorders may allow children to communicate to the best of their ability. Our team at Small Talk Therapy Services can help find the most effective treatment option to meet your child's needs. Call us today at (832) 900-1198 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How common is expressive language disorder?
In general, language disorders are common in children. 10 to 15 percent of children under three years old have language disorders. Expressive language disorder occurs more frequently in males than in females.
Can I help prevent my child from developing expressive language disorder?
Since there is no apparent cause of expressive language disorder, it is hard to say whether it is preventable. Still, depending on your child's case, there may be things you can do to encourage developmental language skills. This can be as simple as reading and talking to your child daily, listening and responding to your child when they talk, encouraging your child to ask and answer questions, and pointing out words on signs.
Can expressive language disorder affect my child’s abilities to understand language?
Expressive language disorder will not negatively affect your child's ability to understand verbal or written language. Children with expressive language disorder may have normal receptive skills. However, receptive language disorder is often comorbid with expressive language disorder because understanding language must come before expressing it.
Are there risk factors for developing expressive language disorder?
Yes. As mentioned earlier, there is often no known cause of expressive language disorder. However, studies suggest that certain groups are more at risk than others. These groups include those with a genetic history of language disorders, those born prematurely or at a low weight, those with thinking disabilities or genetic disorders, those with fetal alcohol syndrome, and more.
How can I help my child deal with their expressive language disorder?
Take your child to see a professional as soon as they start exhibiting symptoms. Treatment cannot begin without a diagnosis. We can work with you to address your child's individual needs.
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