Receptive Language Disorder
A child may have difficulty understanding the words or sentences used by others. Or the child may seem to show poor attention to speech. This may cause difficulty following spoken directions. It may also lead to problems with learning.
Expressive Language Disorder
A child may have difficulty coming up with the right words when talking. The child may be unable to join words correctly into sentences. The child may have a small vocabulary or the child may use words incorrectly. He or she may speak using short, “telegraphic” phrases, leaving out small but important words, or the child may put sentences together incorrectly.
For both types of language disorder, the main problem may be with content (that is, words and their meanings), form (grammar or word order), or use (the ability to understand and use language appropriately).
Causes of language disorders may include hearing loss, cognitive disability, emotional disturbance, a lack of exposure to language in the environment, or brain injury. Often, the cause of a language problem in a particular child is unknown.