Expressive Language

Does Your Child Have Trouble Expressing Their Needs and Using Words Correctly?

Expressive language refers to your child’s ability to join words and build sentences that utilise correct grammar and vocabulary. For children to participate confidently in a variety of activities, they need to be able to express their needs and wants clearly, portray their thoughts and ideas, use language and gestures correctly to engage in successful interactions with their peers.

If your child is struggling to use words, sentences and gestures to convey meaning and messages to others; A Growing Understanding can work with your family to develop expressive language skills.

Our individualised therapy programs include ongoing parent support and education, and are specifically designed to:

  • Tap into your child’s interests, skills, and challenges to develop appropriate goals and help them grow their confidence.
  • Use play and fun activities to build your child’s understanding of language and how to express their needs appropriately.
  • Utilise visuals and offer choices to encourage your child to use words when requesting a specific activity.
  • Support parents and provide at-home activities that can be incorporated into your daily routine i.e. how you can build expressive language skills during shared book reading.
  • Celebrate your child’s success and encourage verbal expression.

Expressive Language is the use of words, sentences, gestures and writing to convey meaning and messages to others in a way that makes sense and is grammatically accurate.

When your child’s language is developing slower than other children of the same age, they are said to have an expressive language delay.

A child may have a receptive language (understanding of language) delay and/or an expressive language (use of language) delay.

The impact of an expressive language delay can be significant. Your child may have difficulty building their vocabulary skills, which can make it challenging for them to understand and follow instructions, understand jokes and abstract language or follow their favourite television shows and books.

Your child may have difficulty expressing themselves accurately at home, school and find it challenging to participate in age appropriate conversations with their friends. This can lead to self-esteem and confidence issues, and perhaps challenging behaviours based on frustration and feelings of isolation.

Expressive language delays can also have significant impact on learning, particularly developing reading and writing skills.

We work with families to develop specific, meaningful, and functional goals and strategies to help develop your child’s expressive language skills. These goals and strategies align with your child’s interest and incorporate home-based activities where you can work on these skills during daily activities like mealtime, bath time and story time.

As your child develops their expressive language skills, we work with families to help you utilise alternative methods of communication. This could include the use of visuals (pictures/symbols), signs and gestures.

Where appropriate, we also work closely with your child’s teacher or educators and provided them with information and ideas that can be used in the educational setting and help your child participate and access the curriculum.

What to Look Out for with Expressive Language:

  • Does your child have difficulty with naming objects or items?
  • Does your child have trouble linking words and forming sentences?
  • Does your child have trouble telling a story or describing objects or places?
  • Does your child use made up words or has trouble finding the right words during a conversation?

Remember, every child develops at their own pace, but if you are concerned, talk to us today. Our friendly team of experienced speech pathologists are here to guide you through your concern and help you take the best next step.