Trouble with expressive language: What you’re seeing

Kids who have trouble with expressive language may struggle with conversation. They may understand what others say and be able to pronounce words. But they may still struggle to express themselves.

Here are signs that kids are having difficulty with expressive language.

Speaks vaguely

At home: Your child uses the words stuff and things a lot.

At school: Your child often answers questions in class by repeating the teacher’s words.

The issue: Kids who struggle with expressive language often have below-average vocabulary skills and rely on familiar phrases.

Is very quiet

At home: Your child doesn’t chat much with friends.

At school: Your child rarely raises a hand or speaks up in class.

The issue: Kids who struggle with expressive language can be withdrawn. It’s very difficult for them to express their thoughts and feelings.

Is hard to understand

At home: Your child hangs on every word of a book you read out loud, but can’t talk coherently about it.

At school: Your child makes frequent errors when speaking, like leaving out pronouns or verbs.

The issue: Kids who struggle with expressive language tend to jumble tenses and drop words. Their sentences often don’t make sense.

Get more information on what can cause trouble with spoken language. And find out what to do if you think your child may have language challenges.


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