Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder: Treatment

Instructor: Allison Camps

Allison has taught in elementary school inclusion classrooms and has her master's degree in Special Education.

This lesson describes the symptoms of mixed receptive-expressive language disorder and explains the difference between developmental and acquired disorders. It also explores treatment plans and intervention tips for families and teachers.

What Is Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder?

Wow... that is long name for a disorder. So many words. What exactly is mixed receptive-expressive language disorder? Who does it affect? How can teachers support children with this disorder?

People with mixed receptive-expressive language disorder have trouble understanding what others are saying, as well as trouble expressing themselves. This disorder is mostly common in young children, where it's called developmental mixed receptive-expressive language disorder. Scientists and doctors aren't sure why some children have this developmental disorder. It's not necessarily related to hearing loss or speech disorders, although some children may have a physical handicap and also be diagnosed with mixed receptive-expressive language disorder.

Although this disorder is most commonly noticed in young children, if a child, adolescent or even an adult suffers a traumatic brain injury, they can have acquired mixed receptive-expressive language disorder. In both cases, the disorder results from mental difficulties associated processing and communicating information.

Symptoms

Children who have developmental mixed receptive-expressive language disorder are usually diagnosed if they are not reaching certain milestones related to talking. But many of the same symptoms can occur for children and adults who are in a severe car crash or other accident, have a stroke or seizure, or otherwise acquire the disorder. Each person with mixed receptive-expressive language disorder may have a different set of symptoms, but here are some of the most common:

Receptive (Listening) Difficulties

  • Trouble understanding what others say to them. (Often the lack of comprehension results in the student misbehaving.)
  • Does not follow stories or understand jokes.
  • Trouble following verbal directions. (Multi-step directions are extremely difficult for these individuals.)
  • Often has trouble understanding abstract nouns. (For example, identifying a character traits of the main character in the story is difficult.)

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