Other Neurodevelopmental Conditions
What Are Mixed Receptive/Expressive Language Disorders
Two main types of language disorders impact children: Receptive and Expressive.
A Receptive Language Disorder causes a child not to understand what is being said. This difficulty in understanding may vary greatly depending on the child.
An Expressive Language Disorder does not impact the ability to understand the language but rather affects a child’s ability to express themselves through language adequately.
Frequently a child is impacted both by a Receptive and Expressive language disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Language Disorders
Children with language delays and disorders struggle in most environments, including home life, educational settings, and general social interactions. Because language disorders are incredibly frustrating for a child, they may cause a child to display bad behavior. It is important to note that all children develop at different rates, but prolonged delays in expected levels of speech should be evaluated as soon as possible.
Children with a receptive language disorder may have some or all of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty understanding what people have said to them.
- Struggle to follow directions that are spoken to them.
- Problems organizing their thoughts for speaking or writing.
Children with an expressive language disorder may have some or all of the following symptoms:
- Struggle to put words together into a sentence or not string together words correctly in their sentences.
- Have difficulties finding the right words while speaking and use placeholder words like “um.”
- Have a low vocabulary level compared to other children the same age.
- Leave words out of sentences when talking.
- Use tenses (past, present, future) incorrectly.
How are Language Disorders Are Diagnosed & Treated
A comprehensive assessment is used to identify the delay and language disorder. It includes interviews with parents and caregivers to answer questions about the child’s medical history. Unstructured play is also set up to see how the child uses and understands language in a natural environment. There are several standardized tests to evaluate their level of comprehension and ability to use language.
Once evaluations are complete, the child’s therapist will create an individualized treatment plan. These plans use books, games, and play to teach and practice language components. A therapist will continue to work with a child until they can produce and understand language naturally in a conversation without cues or until they reach their best potential for language.
Other Behavior Issues
Parents sometimes experience behavior issues with their children and are unsure of the cause. Working with a neuropsychologist will help parents evaluate and manage children with behavioral problems that possibly have underlying causes such as brain or developmental disorders.
The neuropsychological evaluation examines your child’s ability to:
- Think and comprehend situations
- Display appropriate behavior
- Express themselves fully
Evaluations use standardized tests and procedures to help determine what is causing the behavioral issues. Like other evaluations, a critical component is speaking with parents and caregivers about the child, including their medical history.
Once these comprehensive evaluations are complete, recommendations are made to help improve the child’s behavior by addressing the underlying issues.