Expressive language difficulties
Expressive language skills refer to the child’s ability to put their thoughts and feelings into words and sentences that make sense to others. Early recognition of expressive language difficulties can help to reduce the impact on a child’s educational and vocational achievement.
Our speech and language therapists can assess your child’s expressive language skills to determine the individual difficulties your child is experiencing. Our speech and language therapists can then provide a therapy programme that works on improving the expressive language difficulties observed in the assessments.
Speech and language therapy increases your child’s expressive language skills by working on increasing the content, structures and forms of sentences and words. Speech and language therapy can therefore increase a child’s ability to successfully communicate with others around them.
What is expressive language?
Expressive language is the spoken or written output of language, it is a process of formulating ideas and putting them into words and phrases that follow the society’s grammatical and semantic rules.
The components of expressive language that our speech and language therapists work with, include:
Vocabulary and semantic skills
Vocabulary and semantics refers to our knowledge of words and how we develop these in childhood. Children must know the word and be able to effectively relate it to the appropriate meaning.Read more..
Word formation (morphology)
There are many aspects of grammar that children must develop. Morphology refers to different elements of grammar that can be added to words in order to change its meaning e.g. adding tense.Read more..
Sentence formation (syntax)
There are lots of different elements that individuals must use effectively in order to create a sentence with meaning that is context appropriate. Syntax refers to the way children form their sentences using different words, structures and grammatical elements.Read more..
Narrative difficulties refer to a child's ability to tell appropriate stories and understand and remember different speakers narratives. A narrative can range from a whole story to a short explanation of someone’s day.Read more..
For a child to be able to express themselves they require a store of words they can use, the larger this store of words, the better they can express their thoughts, and the more chances they will be understood by others. The children must also understand the meaning of these words and know when it is appropriate to use them.
The child must then be able to use the correct form of this word and create a sentence around the word that is grammatically correct, in order for them to be understood by those around them. If the child wanted to say ‘the boy kicked the ball’ they must have the knowledge to say it in the correct order rather than saying ‘the ball kicked the boy’ as this changes the meaning, or ‘boy ball kicked’ which doesn’t make sense.
Expressive language skills are important to communication as they allow a child to successfully interact with others around them. For there to be a joint conversation expressive language is key. Although the child may be able to understand what is being said if they cannot give an appropriate response, it may appear as though they have misunderstood or the child’s response may be misunderstood by the listener. If there is a breakdown in conversation or communication, expressive language skills are crucial to repairing.
Expressive language difficulties can appear as a delay or a disorder. When a child has an expressive language delay, the child is developing language following the typical development pattern but at a slower rate than usually expected. Whereas the expressive language skills of a child who has an expressive language disorder develop in an unusual pattern.
Speech and language therapy assessments for expressive language difficulties
Depending on your child’s abilities the speech and language therapists will select an assessment of vocabulary, word formation or sentence formation.
Our speech and language therapists will use the information from the assessment to devise a therapy programme that is individualised to your child’s areas of need and priorities.
The outcome of the assessments will demonstrate:
- Identification of specific expressive language difficulties.
- Identification of delay or disorder.
- Identification of the impact of the expressive language difficulties on a child’s educational and social development.
- Identification of the impact of expressive language difficulties on the child’s activity and participation in different setting such as home, school and other social settings.
- Identification of the child’s strengths in language.
- Identification of the child’s coping mechanisms.
Assessments available for expressive language difficulties:
Speech and language therapy treatment for expressive language difficulties
Speech and language therapy aims to improve a child’s ability to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that can be understood by those around them.
Our speech and language therapists will create a therapy programme that is unique to your child’s area of need and will include their motivators and priorities. Our speech and language therapists will work closely with you and your child’s school to create a therapy programme that will develop their expressive language skills both verbal and written across both the school and home setting.
Speech and language therapy available for expressive language difficulties includes:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Advice, support, training and strategies for parents, carers and professionals
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Benefits of speech and language therapy
Speech and language therapy can be highly beneficial for children who have expressive language difficulties. Speech and language therapy can improve children’s ability to express their thoughts and their feeling in a manner that can be understood by others. Benefits of speech and language therapy include:
- Increased successful expression of thoughts and feelings.
- Increased participation in conversations and other expressive language based activities.
- Improved access to the curriculum and academic learning.
- Increased ability to make and maintain friendships.
- Reduced frustration.
Speech and language therapy can increase your child’s ability to express themselves successfully. Our speech and language therapists can increase your child’s vocabulary and formation of grammatically correct phrases, to improve expressive language skills. Speech and language therapy can be carried out using direct intervention from the speech and language therapist, or a naturalistic approach that works with parent and teachers to adjust their communication, or implement strategies into daily activities that can increase a child’s development. Our speech and language therapists aim to provide a holistic therapy programme that combines the most effective approach for your child.
Conditions that SLT for Kids commonly work with
Expressive language difficulties can very often be the primary and only difficulty a child presents with, however expressive language difficulties can often be secondary to other conditions. Our speech and language therapists regularly assess and give therapy for children with:
- Specific language impairment
- Developmental delay
- Autism spectrum disorder
- High-functioning autism
- Learning disability
- Down's syndrome
- Acquired head / brain injury
- Developmental verbal dyspraxia
A child’s expressive language skills can be impacted on by certain conditions such as the ones listed above. Our speech and language therapists aim to improve your child’s spoken and written language skills, in order to increase their daily activity and participation. Our speech and language therapists will create a therapy programme that improves your child’s needs, and includes their strengths, motivations and goals.
If your child is struggling to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas in a way that can be understood by others, our speech and language therapists can provide assessments and therapy to improve their expressive language skills and increase the involvement in activities around school and home.
What to do next
Our speech and language therapists will provide a comprehensive assessment and continuous therapy for expressive language difficulties. If you think that your child struggles to express themselves in a way that is understood by others around him, or you have been alerted to this from school, then please email email@example.com or call 0330 088 2298.