Those with an expressive language disorder may have difficulty with verbal or written expression, while comprehension is within normal range. Expressive language disorders may be developmental or acquired (resulting from brain injury).

Unlike expressive language delay in which pattern of development is slow but normal, an expressive language disorder occurs when language is slow to develop and sequence of development/pattern or errors is atypical.

Signs and Symptoms of Expressive Language Disorder May Include

  • Difficulty putting sentences together
  • Word retrieval problems
  • Smaller vocabulary than same-age peers
  • Problems with verb tense and pronouns
  • Trouble asking questions
  • Decreased verbal organization
  • Difficulty retelling stories
  • An inability to start or hold a conversation

It is also not uncommon for children to have a mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, in which comprehension is also affected. These language disorders do not go away on their own, and require speech-language intervention.