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Expressive Language Disorder


Children with expressive language disorders have difficulty with verbal expression, such as putting words together to formulate thoughts. Expressive language disorder is generally a childhood disorder. There are two types of expressive language disorder: the developmental type and the acquired type. Developmental expressive language disorder does not have a known cause and generally appears at the time a child is learning to talk. Acquired expressive language disorder is caused by damage to the brain. It occurs suddenly after events such as stroke or traumatic head injury. The acquired type can occur at any age.

Early Signs and Symptoms:

  • Word retrieval difficulties. Difficulty naming objects or "talking in circles" around subjects with lack of the appropriate vocabulary.
  • Dysnomia. Misnaming items.
  • Difficulty acquiring syntax (the rules of grammar).
  • Difficulties with morphology (changes in verb tense).
  • Difficulty with semantics (word meaning)