Students with Language Disorders may have difficulty getting their meaning across to others: Expressive language disorder; or difficulty understanding the meaning coming from others: Receptive language disorder. Some students may have a combination of both Expressive and Receptive language disorders. Children with language disorders are able to produce sounds and their speech can be understood. Signs of language disorders are usually noticed before the age of 4. Expressive and Receptive language disorders may co-exist with other learning differences such as Dyslexia and Dysgraphia.
Language disorders are different to a language delay where a student will develop speech and language in the same way as others but at a later time. In language disorders the child’s speech and language do not develop normally and the child may have difficulty understanding others, following directions and organizing their thoughts. Their sentences may be short with word order difficulties and have a limited vocabulary. They may use tenses incorrectly and repeat phrases repeatedly. Due to their language problems, these students may have difficulty socialising with others and at times may develop severe behavioural problems.
Intervention with a Speech Language Therapist may necessary to improve a student’s articulation, fluency, resonance in the case of speech difficulties and also to help improve receptive and/or expressive language skills and comprehension for a student with a language disorder.