Receptive language disorder
occurs when a child has difficulty understanding what is said to him or her. It’s
also known as auditory comprehension or language processing disorder.
The cause of receptive language
disorder is often unknown, but is thought to result from a number of factors
working in combination.
Genetic susceptibility, the
child’s exposure to language, and general developmental and cognitive (thought
and understanding) abilities, may be involved.
Receptive language disorder is
often associated with developmental disorders, such as autism. It also can be
caused by a brain injury, such as trauma, tumor or disease.
Signs and symptoms vary
drastically from child to child and often begin before age four. Children with
receptive language disorders may:
If you suspect your child has a
receptive language disorder, share your concerns with your pediatrician. He or
she may refer your child to an audiologist for hearing tests, and/or a
speech-language pathologist for speech therapy.
A hearing test is recommended
prior to seeing a speech therapist. The audiologist will perform tests to make
sure the language problems aren’t caused by hearing loss and to establish
whether the child is able to pay attention to sound and language (auditory
Depending on the severity of
your child’s receptive language delay, his/her ability to understand what is
spoken to him/her may be affected. This makes it difficult to learn and
interact in the classroom.
The outlook for every child is
different depending on a variety of factors. The severity of the disorder, the
cause of the disorder, the child’s age when treatment begins, individual
response to treatment, and the support of parents and teachers all make a
After your physician refers your child for a speech language
pathology evaluation, we will use special tests to determine if your child would
benefit from speech language pathology services. If treatment is
recommended, our clinicians will use specialized techniques, structured play
activities and games to improve receptive language skills in a child friendly
environment. Here are some examples of common treatment activities to develop
receptive language skills:
Back to Courage Kenny Kids services
Courage Kenny Kids
Sara Rohde, OTR/L, manager, Courage Kenny Kids
A referral is needed from your child's health care provider before therapy can begin. Once your doctor has referred you to the Courage Kenny Kids rehabilitation program, contact one of these
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