Receptive Language

Receptive language is the input system of our language ability. It is the "listening" part of language. It is what we see and hear and the information that we take in. Good receptive language is essential to development of comprehension.

Language does not automatically improve according to age alone. Language is cumulative in nature and develops incrementally, as one skill helps the next. Once an early skill develops, it allows more difficult skills to be learned. Language develops in a way similar to the development of physical or movement skills; the development of one stage leads to the next. We begin learning language at birth. Receptive language skills begin as early as birth and get stronger with each stage in development.

Receptive language disorders include: central auditory processing disorders (CAPD), aphasia, comprehension deficit, delayed language, and delayed speech. Receptive language disorders also refer to difficulties in the ability to attend to, process, comprehend, retain or integrate spoken language.
For Older Students:

A receptive language disorder affects the ability to understand spoken, and sometimes written, language. Students with receptive language disorders often have difficulty with speech and organizing their thoughts, which creates problems in communicating with others and in organizing their thoughts on paper.

Early signs and symptoms may include:

  • Echolalia (repeating back words or phrases either immediately or at a later time.)
  • Inability to follow directions. (Following of routine, repetitive directions may be O.K.)
  • Inappropriate, off-target responses to "wh" questions.
  • Repeating back a question first and then responding to it.
  • Difficulty responding appropriately to: Yes/no questions, either/or questions, who/what/where questions and when/why/how questions
  • Not attending to spoken language
  • High activity level and not attending to spoken language
  • Jargon (sounds like "unintelligible speech")
  • Using "memorized" phrases and sentences.
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