Many young children have difficulty with communication at some time in their lives. Most will eventually catch up. However, some will continue to have problems. Communication disorders include speech disorders and language disorders. Language disorders are discussed in this article. Some general guidelines are also given. This will help you decide if your child needs to be tested by a speech-language pathologist.
When a child has difficulty getting his meaning across using speech, writing, or even gestures, we may be seeing a language disorder. Some children have a language disorder even though they produce sounds well and have understandable speech. Difficulty expressing meaning to other people is called an expressive language disorder. Difficulty understanding other speakers is called a receptive language disorder. A child might have difficulties with both. This is what is called a mixed receptive-expressive language disorder.