All About Expressive Language Disorder Symptoms

Expressive Language Disorder (ELD) is a condition where a person has trouble communicating their thoughts and ideas orally or in writing. This condition affects children more than adults and can lead to severe consequences in their lives, including social isolation, low self-esteem, and difficulty in building and maintaining relationships.

What are the Symptoms of ELD?

The symptoms of ELD can range from mild to severe, and they can vary from one child to another. The most common symptoms of ELD include:

  • Difficulty in finding the right words to express oneself
  • Using simple or incomplete sentences
  • Difficulty in explaining oneself or answering questions
  • Problems in recalling names or words
  • Using incorrect grammar or tenses
  • Struggling to tell a story or recount an event in a logical sequence
  • Trouble in engaging in conversations, especially in group settings

If you notice these symptoms in your child, it is essential to seek professional help from a speech-language pathologist, who can diagnose and treat ELD effectively.

Causes of ELD

There is no known single cause of ELD, but researchers suggest that various factors can contribute to this condition. These include:

  • Genetic factors – ELD may run in families, indicating a genetic predisposition to the disorder.
  • Brain development issues – ELD may occur due to the underdevelopment of neural pathways responsible for language processing and production.
  • Hearing difficulties – ELD may occur in children with hearing difficulties, making it hard for them to hear and reproduce sounds correctly.
  • Environmental factors – Lack of adequate language exposure and stimulation can lead to delayed language development, which can cause ELD.

Treatment for ELD

The treatment for ELD depends on the severity of the condition, the age of the person, and any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the disorder. The goal of treatment is to improve the person’s communication skills and build their confidence in expressing themselves. The following interventions are commonly used to treat ELD:

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is the primary treatment method for ELD, and it involves working with a speech-language pathologist who specializes in language disorders. The therapist works with the person to develop their communication skills, such as vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar, using various techniques such as language drills, picture books, and games.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be helpful for children with ELD who also have low self-esteem or anxiety related to their communication difficulties. CBT helps them manage negative thoughts and emotions and build their confidence and self-esteem.

Social Skills Training

Children with ELD often struggle with social interactions, such as making friends or initiating conversations with peers. Social skills training can help them develop the necessary social skills, such as taking turns, listening, and responding appropriately, to improve their relationships and social interactions.

How to Support a Child with ELD?

As a parent or caregiver, you can support a child with ELD in the following ways:

  • Provide a language-rich environment by reading books, talking and engaging with your child in conversations throughout the day.
  • Encourage their communication attempts, even if they are not perfect. Praise their efforts and provide constructive feedback to help them improve their skills.
  • Be patient and allow the child enough time to find the right words or complete their sentences.
  • Provide opportunities for social interactions, such as play-dates, to allow the child to practice their communication skills in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Work with their speech-language pathologist and follow their recommendations to support their therapy goals at home.

Conclusion

ELD is a common language disorder that affects children’s ability to express themselves effectively. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to improve the child’s communication skills and prevent further complications that may affect their social, emotional, and academic development. If you suspect that your child has ELD, schedule an appointment with a speech-language pathologist who can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment interventions.

FAQs

What is Expressive Language Disorder?

Expressive Language Disorder is a condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate effectively using spoken or written language. Individuals with this disorder often struggle with expressing themselves, forming sentences, and finding the right words to convey their thoughts and ideas.

What are some common symptoms of Expressive Language Disorder?

Some common symptoms of Expressive Language Disorder include difficulty forming complete sentences, using incorrect grammar, limited vocabulary, using filler words such as “um” or “ah” frequently, struggling to express ideas, and difficulty with storytelling or jokes.

How is Expressive Language Disorder diagnosed and treated?

Expressive Language Disorder can be diagnosed through a comprehensive assessment by a speech-language pathologist. Treatment options may include speech therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication in some cases. The goal of treatment is to improve communication skills, enhance language proficiency, and bolster self-confidence. It is important to note that early intervention can lead to better outcomes for individuals with this disorder.


References

1. Bishop, D. V. (2014). Ten questions about terminology for children with unexplained language problems. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 49(4), 381-415. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12070
2. Rice, M. L., Smith, S. D., & Gayán, J. (2012). Convergent genetic linkage and associations to language, speech and reading measures in families of probands with Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 4(1), 1-16. doi: 10.1186/1866-1955-4-1
3. Zelazo, P. D., Carter, A., & Reznick, J. S. (2011). Gaining insight into the nature of executive function deficits in children with expressive language disorders. In P. D. Zelazo (Ed.), Developing cognitive control processes: Mechanisms, implications, and interventions (pp. 267-292). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. doi: 10.1037/12312-013