Language Disorder Specialist

Speech Success

Jacqueline Ahrens, SLPD, CCC-SLP

Pediatric Speech Therapist located in Emerson, NJ

Children with a language disorder can talk, but they have a hard time communicating with others. Depending on the severity of the language disorder, detection at an early age can be difficult. At Speech Success, Jacqueline Ahrens, SLPD, CCC-SLP, helps you find the answers you need. She performs a comprehensive evaluation to determine if your child has a language disorder, then creates a customized plan to help them learn the communication skills they need to succeed. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Emerson, New Jersey, or use the online booking feature today.

Language Disorder Q&A

What is a language disorder?

Though speech and language are often clustered together and referred to as speech-language disorders, they represent different problems. Speech disorders affect your child's ability to create, form, or speak sounds and words.

Children may not have any problems with speech, but they could struggle to communicate with others. That's when they have a language disorder.

Language disorders make it hard for your child to learn social skills. In some cases, a language disorder may contribute to behavioral problems.

What are the different types of language disorders?

Your child could develop one or both of the following language disorders:

Expressive language disorders

Children have an expressive language disorder when they have a hard time communicating their thoughts, feelings, and needs in a way others can understand.

Receptive language disorders

Children have a receptive language disorder when they experience difficulty understanding what other people are saying.

What signs indicate a language disorder? 

Children with an expressive language disorder may:

  • Have trouble asking questions
  • Comments, questions, or answers are off-topic
  • Have a hard time finding the right words when talking
  • Leave words out of a sentence
  • Difficulty putting a sentence together 
  • Use sentences in which the words are out of order
  • Repeat the same words or phrases 
  • Use tenses improperly

Children with a receptive language disorder may:

  • Have trouble following spoken directions
  • Have trouble answering questions
  • Lacking conversational rules like taking turns when talking
  • Looking like their not paying attention when being spoken to

If your child has a receptive language disorder, they may not understand what people mean when they make gestures like shrugging or nodding.

What causes language disorders?

When a language disorder develops on its own, the cause is seldom determined. However, language disorders usually occur together with another underlying condition, such as:

  • Autism
  • Brain injury
  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome

Language disorders typically begin before the age of four.

How are language disorders treated?

After completing a thorough evaluation, Dr. Ahrens develops a treatment plan based on your child's age and the type of language disorder. Since she uses many therapeutic techniques, she explains the best approach for your child after the evaluation.

No matter which therapy she recommends, she holds your child’s interest and makes therapy enjoyable by choosing activities that are more like play. Dr. Ahrens also collaborates with parents and teachers, ensuring your child has consistent support across all environments.

Your child can overcome their language challenges with consistent therapy. To schedule an appointment, call Speech Success, or book an appointment online today.