Expressive language disorder – developmental

Alternative Names

Language disorder – expressive

Definition of Expressive language disorder – developmental

Developmental expressive language disorder is a condition in which a child has lower than normal ability in vocabulary, producing complex sentences, and remembering words. However, children with this disorder may have the normal language skills needed to understand verbal or written communication.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Approximately 3 – 10% of all school-age children have expressive language disorder. It is a pretty common issue in children.

Signs and tests

Standardized expressive language and nonverbal intellectual tests should be conducted if an expressive language disorder is suspected. Testing for other learning disabilities may also be needed.

Treatment

Language therapy is the best method to treat this type of disorder. The goal of this therapy is to increase the number of phrases a child can use. This is done by using block-building techniques and speech therapy.

Expectations (prognosis)

How much the child recovers depends on the severity of the disorder. With reversible factors, such as vitamin deficiencies, there may be nearly full recovery.

Review

Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/18/2008

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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