Speech Therapy Services

Language Disorders

How is language different than speech?

Language is described as our form, content, and use of words to express ourselves with others. This is considered separate from our production of speech sounds. Your child may have deficits in language without showing deficits in speech sounds.

2 parts of language skills:

Language can be separated into 2 parts: expressive and receptive language skills. Expressive language is how a child can use words to express him/herself with other, and receptive language skills are essentially a child’s understanding. Children can have deficits in one or both parts of language.

How do I know if my child has a language disorder?

For children birth to 5, some language deficits may be related to a delay in speech development. See the chart on the Speech Delay section to identify certain language skills that are expected at certain ages.

A child with a language disorder may have some of the following signs:

  • Difficulty following directions
  • Difficulty naming objects
  • Incorrect use of grammar in spoken sentences
  • Limited vocabulary
  • Difficulty understanding humor or abstract concepts (riddles, idioms, etc.)
  • Difficulty initiating or holding conversation with others
  • Difficulty responding to questions or asking questions
  • Incorrect use of verbs, plurals, or possessive nouns when speaking
  • Testing
  • Testing for language disorders may be done with one of the following:
  • Preschool Language Scale, Fifth Edition, (PLS-5)
  • Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Fifth Edition, (CELF-5)