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Receptive Language Delays

Children understand language before they're able to communicate using words.  Receptive language delays refer to difficulties  following directions, answering questions, and/or understanding what other people say.

A child with a receptive language delay may appear to understand because they are able to pick out key words in sentences and follow non-verbal clues such as gestures or eye gaze of the person talking. In the classroom a child may become very good at following the cues of other children and so appear to be understanding instructions. If you are concerned that your child is having difficulty understanding language, start by getting their hearing assessed by an audiologist.


Tips to help your child’s comprehension of language:


  • Slow down your rate of speech when talking with your child

  • Talk about things as you do them so the child learns to associate words with actions

  • Keep your language simple, your sentences short and clear, emphasizing key words

  • When talking to our child make sure you have their attention and there and limit distractions

  • Try to be face to face when talking to your child

  • Give your child to think, process and respond to questions and instructions

  • Look at books together as often as possible and name the items in the pictures, ask questions and discuss what is happening in the book together

  • When you ask your child to do something, get your child to repeat back what you have said to make sure that they heard you and understood

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