Half of our time spent testing children with language disorders is focused on receptive language. But is this true of our intervention? If you are like most therapists then you spend a great deal of time working on expressive language abilities. As a field we are slowly waking up to the fact that receptive language intervention may have a dramatic impact on a client’s progress. Here’s why:
1. If a child can attend then he is more likely to remember and produce expressive language.
2. Receptive language is larger than expressive language.
That is to say, that for every word we can say we comprehend way more. No one knows for sure the exact ratio but information on second-language acquisition suggests comprehension abilities can be 5X greater than speaking abilities.
3. Attention deficits and poor vocabulary acquisition are two of the most common referral concerns.
When we co-evaluation students with diagnosticians the difference between receptive language and oral comprehension is one area that we are always trying to ferret out.
What is a Receptive Language Disorder?
Let’s start with a clear definition of receptive language disorder and then share resources.
Children with a receptive language disorder can have difficulty with any of the following:
- Understanding meaning of gestures
- Following directions
- Understanding questions
- Identifying objects and pictures
- Taking turns when talking with others
- Understanding the order of words in a sentence
- Understanding plurals and verb tenses
- Understanding age-appropriate vocabulary and knowledge about objects and sequence of events
- Knowledge of the goals or functions of language (e.g. to obtain a desired object, tell a story, ask questions, comment)
- Knowledge of how to use language to achieve goals (e.g. appropriately using language to get a desired object)
- Carrying out cooperative conversations (e.g. perspective-taking and turn-taking)
Receptive Language Books for Kids:
Reading to your child will help with their language development, especially repetitive books with pictures and basic concepts. Here are a few examples:
Receptive Language Books for Parents
Childhood Speech, Language & Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know by Patricia McAleerHamaguchi
Teachers by Sue Schwartz
The Parent’s Guide to Speech and Language Problems by Debbie Feit
Routines-Based Early Intervention Guidebook by Bilinguistics, Inc.
Websites for Receptive Language Information:
Late talkers: discussion board online