Here are some terms that you may come across in discussion with professionals about your child’s needs.
Delay and disorder
Delay in understanding and talking means that a child is developing these skills at a slower rate but in the expected order and following a typical pattern.
Disorder is used when a child’s listening, understanding and talking are developing in an unexpected way, differently to other children and not following a typical pattern.
Find out more about various speech and language difficulties.
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Although these distinctions may sound clear, in practice, for example with young children, it can be difficult for professionals to identify and a child may present with elements of both delay and disorder. A number of labels may be used to describe your child’s needs so it is important to ask what a professionals means when a particular label is suggested.
Receptive and expressive language
These are terms that professionals used to describe listening, understanding and expression (through talking or other means such as signing).
Receptive language means the ability to understand information. It involves understanding the words, sentences and meaning of what others say or what is read.
Expressive language means being able to put thoughts into words and sentences, in a way that makes sense and is grammatically accurate. Expressive language also informs an individual’s writing.