Language Therapy to
Enhance Receptive, Expressive and Pragmatic Language skills.

People with a variety of diagnoses including Autism, Down's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, etc., with intellectual and physical disabilities may encounter difficulties conveying or comprehending information related to common topics of interest, or importance to them. In addition, they may encounter difficulties with social interaction at home and in the community. They often benefit from therapy to address deficits in these three areas:

Expressive Language - This refers to the individual's ability to convey information to others by speaking, writing, or through other means such as gestures, manual sign production, a communication book, use of a Speech Generating Device (SGD), etc. When expressive language skills are diminished the person may encounter difficulty:

  • Discussing wants, needs, plans, events, concerns, etc.

  • Constructing phrases, sentences, paragraphs, narratives, questions, etc.

  • Using a variety of content words, for example, may use nouns, but little or no use of verbs or descriptive terms.

  • Using function words, including pronouns (e.g., he, she, they), conjunctions (e.g., and, but, so), prepositions (e.g., at, in, near), auxiliary verbs (e.g., are, is, could), etc.​

  • Employing tense markers, for example, using the present tense during discussion of events taking place in the past or future. 

Receptive Language - This aspect of communication pertains to how an individual understands and processes information that is heard or read. Signs of a receptive language disorder include reduced comprehension of:  ​

  • Statements

  • Questions

  • Instructions 

  • Explanations

  • Vocabulary- including labels, verbs, descriptive words, etc. 

  • Tense markers (verbs/nouns indicating past, present, and future

Pragmatic Language - This function of language refers to how an individual relates to others on a social level. Some signs of reduced pragmatic skills may include difficulty:

  • Paying attention to a communication partner

  • Staying on topic

  • Picking up on social cues, for example, knowing if the person is bored, trying to end a conversation, etc.

  • Taking turns during play and conversation

  • Establishing and maintaining eye contact

 

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