Severe Developmental Expressive Language Disorder

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Joined: 12 Aug 2009
Age: 42
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Location: In Georgia sipping a virgin pina' colada while the rest of the world is drunk

05 Mar 2011, 10:24 pm

momsparky wrote:
jojobean wrote:
That was an eye opener, I was then taught english as a second language, even though I was raised in an english speaking household and it seemed to have worked. I no longer use "being" as my all purpose verb.

Jojo, this is so interesting - while DS never had difficulty in expressive language, we enrolled him in our local version of ESL - a two-way immersion program (TWI.) I had no idea of his current diagnosis at the time, but knew somehow it was the right thing to do. To this day, he doesn't speak Spanish (unlike all the other English-speaking kids in his class,) but he has reaped great benefit from all the exaggerated non-verbal language that naturally goes along with a program like this. ESL sounds like an excellent option as well.

Ya it really helped...I am a writer now.

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.
-James Baldwin


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Joined: 7 Mar 2011
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Location: Michigan, USA

10 Mar 2011, 3:16 am

My son now 10 was diagnosed with severe expressive/receptive language delay at about 3 years old.. the speech therapist are probably stressing you out without meaning to... simply put all this diagnosis means is that he's having difficulty understanding the meaning of things said to him and trouble making people understand what he wants.. it's not really the biggest of issues at this age of course it's when you get into school and you have to understand what the teacher expect when the tests show a deviation from what's considered the norm they give the child a lil bit extra help just in case there is a problem.

also keep in mind that at such a young age they can only go by what their testing shows them and altho the testing might show a big delay it might not be as serious as it seems for instance if they say to him point to the hanger and you've never called a clothes hanger by this word he'd have no idea it was a hanger and the score would go down altho it didn't need to.. or which one is a cup.. if you always call it a glass at home he wouldn't really know that a cup is a glass and again the score goes down... or if you always say "can you show me the... and the evaluator uses the word point" some of the things that may give an indication of the scores and such are really just misunderstandings in launguage and not delays but the main this is that they are going to help with fun games and different excersizes to make it easier for him. My son hated his first few appointments I think because it was a new place, new people whatever but within a few visits was one of his favorite places to go because they really made learning language fun.. you can also ask them to show you the different things they are doing and you can do them at home.

As for age they have a guideline doctors follow as to when differnet language milestones happen but it doesn't mean if a child doesn't reach it there is a problem .. each child is different and some are in fact completely unique. Our pediatrician once told a story of a boy who didn't speak untill he was 4 years old not a word and when he decided to talk it was very clear perpect speech he said "please pass the pea's" the parents asked him why he never talked before this and he simply said "I didn't have anything to say" :)

anyway try not to get too upset with the whole process.... it took some time but my son now has no issue with expressive/receptive and other than the occational articulation things or reversal of pronouns is completely understandable.

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

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Joined: 7 Nov 2011
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08 Nov 2011, 4:58 pm

Hi tskin1,

My 3 year old also has receptive/expressive language delay. Its good to hear that your son has no issue in the area now. Is he in normal classes now?

I am having so many questions about how my daugther will do in the long run. ie. will she be able to go to college....



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09 Nov 2011, 12:39 pm ... Links.html

You might check out the above resources for things to help your son.

My older son with classic autism had horrible speech problems and getting him to talk was a big deal. At his first speech evaluation by the school, he did much better on the receptive speech part of the test than the expressive part.

The things that were most helpful regarding his expressive speech were flashcard work (homemade and every commercial flashcard I could find during meals, tub time, arts and crafts time and other times that he was relaxed and had something to do with his hands), work with picture dictionaries (see the link page for an example), and continuing to work on receptive speech all day long via videos whenever I was not personally working with my son.

Also, use close captioning and subtitles whenever the TV is on or a video is in. Things will go faster.

He will need to watch the speech videos several times to learn the material. We mainly used DVDs and videos (speech and preschool) instead of regular TV in order to get a lot of repetition.

If you want to see some homemade flashcards that I made and actually used to teach my older son to talk in sentences and answer questions, you can check out the "uploads" on my free Speech and Vocabulary Channel on YouTube. (

For some kids, anxiety can cause speech delays. (My older son has selective mutism and my younger son with AS has OCD). Medication when the child gets older and ABA therapy can help with anxiety issues that may be making the problem worse.

The receptive/expressive split is not unusual with kids with classic autism who are older and who have been worked with somewhat.

By the way, my older son with classic autism started out in the bottom 1% of all speech tests, but now he speaks pretty well and is in a regular second grade class at school, with some academic assistance from the school and quite a bit at home.

Also, get yourself a whole bunch of picture books.

Good luck!

_________________ is my website with hundreds of links and thousands of educational videos for kids, parents and educators. Son with high-functioning classic autism, aged 7, and son with OCD/Aspergers, aged 4. I love my boys!


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Joined: 22 Feb 2008
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09 Nov 2011, 12:43 pm

Just so people know how to focus their time in this thread, the OP no longer posts here; that happens when older threads get pulled up.

Mom to an amazing AS son, who recently graduated from the university (plus an also amazing non-AS daughter). Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).