Language is an organization of symbols that we are able to use to communicate needs,
thoughts and feelings.
Learning language requires many interlinked skills. Language can be non-verbal
including gesture and facial expressions or verbal including using sounds, words
Language can be simply broken down into expressive language and receptive language.
Receptive language includes attention, recognition and understanding.
Expressive language includes using gestures or words to convey a thought effectively.
Of course, language is not that simple and can be further broken down into phonology (the
sound system of language), morphology (word forms such as verb tenses and plurals),
syntax (word order and grammar), semantics (word meanings and vocabulary), and
pragmatics (purpose and interaction skills). Language concepts and early learning skills
are also a huge part of language including size concepts, spatial concepts, quantity
concepts and word relationships (for example, opposites).
A language disorder can involve any one or any combination of these skills needed to
effectively communicate. An evaluation of a language disorder looks at these skills
both separately and working together to determine what skills are difficult for a
particular child. From an evaluation, a professional can develop a treatment plan for
a child to improve communication through home strategies and therapy activities.
A language disorder may be seen in children with other difficulties (for example: speech,
motor skills, ADD/ADHD, hearing)or may be the only presenting problem.