Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder and How Speech Therapy Help is Critical

Two Types of the Disorder

Mixed receptive-expressive language disorder is when your child displays problems with speaking and understanding others. There are two types the disorder:

  • Developmental mixed receptive-expressive disorder usually appears when a child is learning how to talk. The cause is unknown, but therapy at the onset of symptoms yields the best results.
  • Acquired mixed receptive-expressive language disorder is caused by damage to the brain. Recovery depends on the areas of the brain that were affected as well as the severity of the damage; but therapy has been proven to be at least somewhat successful in helping the affected individuals relearn speech sounds.

Signs of Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder

  • Limited speech corresponding to the person’s age
  • Inability to follow directions
  • Repeating words or phrases
  • Difficulty responding to “wh” questions
  • Inappropriate responses to yes/no questions
  • Learning problems and academic difficulties
  • Difficulty understanding simple directions
  • Inability to name objects

If you notice any of these signs, please take the proactive step of contacting a certified speech-language pathologist who can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action. As a parent, it is important for you to be aware of your child’s speech development progress and to take note of anything that doesn’t seem right.

If your child indeed has receptive-expressive language disorder, you may notice that he or she is having difficulty pronouncing certain sounds.  The disorder will also make it difficult for your child to form sentences that one can understand, remember certain words, and use correct grammar structure.  This may cause communication problems and cause frustration to your child if he or she is having trouble expressing wants, needs, thoughts, etc.

Treatment for Mixed Receptive-Expressive Disorder

The key thing to remember about treatment for mixed receptive-expressive language disorder is that early intervention can make all the difference.  For a successful outcome, it is important to get therapy for your child with a speech pathologist. Another type of treatment involves the collaboration between parents and teachers in working together to incorporate spoken language that a child needs through activities and play.  Treatment techniques used will be directed to your child’s specific needs in order to help build strengths and to overcome his or her communication deficit.

Developmental mixed receptive-expressive language disorder generally has a good prognosis.  Most children develop normal language skills by high school.  Some minor problems with both expressive and receptive skills may not be resolved as easily; however, early and frequent therapy sessions help in yielding the most effective outcome.  For those who acquired mixed receptive-expressive disorder as a result of a brain injury, recovery will depend on location of injury and its severity.  Some people will rehabilitate their language skills back within days or months.  But, remember that the more proactive you are with your child’s needs, the more likely you will see a better outcome.