Receptive Problems

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What to expect

Receptive Problems

Receptive communication is the ability to understand communication including written, gesture and verbal forms. Any difficulty in understanding spoken or written language is known as a receptive problem. Speech and language therapy is highly beneficial for individuals with receptive problems and can help to improve, support and develop the individual's communicative ability to their highest potential.

What is a receptive problem?

A receptive problem is a difficulty in understanding communication, which can include written, verbal and gestured forms.

A child with a receptive problem will have difficulty understanding spoken or written communication or a combination of both. A child with a receptive problem may additionally have difficulty understanding non-verbal forms of communication including gesture and facial expressions.

There is no set of symptoms that defines receptive problems, as the symptoms will vary in each individual child. However, a child with a receptive problem will usually present with a difficulty in following simple or more complex instructions. A child with a receptive problem may show signs of lacking interest when they are spoken to or being read a story. Language skills are often lower than what is expected for the child's age.

Having a receptive problem may affect the child's ability to understand language in a variety of settings, and with different people e.g. at home or school and with teachers or parents.

Children with receptive problems may also have expressive problems i.e. their use of spoken and written communication.

What causes receptive problems?

The cause of receptive problems is unknown and it is often the result of a combination of factors, which may include:

What problems caused by receptive problems can speech and language therapy help with?

Speech and language therapy can help with the following difficulties, which may contribute or be a result of receptive problems:

How is a receptive problem diagnosed?

The speech and language therapist will carry out an initial assessment with your child. This assessment will help to determine whether your child has a receptive problem and also the severity of your child's receptive problem. An initial Assessment will involve the following:

  • A general conversation with you about your child's receptive problems, which allows you to share any concerns you may have.
  • Discussing and noting a case history of your child's development.
  • An observation of your child's play, interaction, speech and language skills.
  • A more in depth assessment of your child's speech and language e.g. asking your child to follow verbal or written instructions.
  • From the information gathered at the initial assessment, the speech and language therapist will decide whether treatment is needed. If treatment is needed they will create an individualised treatment programme which will be tailored to the child's specific needs and abilities.

    How does speech and language therapy help receptive problems?

    A child with receptive problems may have increased difficulty acquiring language at the normal rate of development; this will affect their ability to communicate effectively and may impact on their social and academic achievement. Early intervention of speech and language therapy has been found to be beneficial for children with receptive problems.

    Speech and language therapy will aim to maximise your child's communication. Specific aims of speech and language therapy will aim to increase your child's understanding of spoken words and sentences, and also written forms. When the child's speech and language is very limited, the speech and language therapist may introduce alternative forms of communication i.e. the use of visual aids to support understanding.

    What would speech and language therapy treatment for receptive problems involve?

    A detailed assessment of your child's speech and language will be carried out by one of our speech and language therapists. This Assessment will help determine what the best treatment option will be for your child's specific communication needs. Treatment at speech and language therapy may involve:

    An initial appointment will also provide a chance for you to share any concerns you may have, and allow you to discuss what you would like to work on and improve regarding your child's communication.

    How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment for receptive problems?

    To arrange an assessment for you and your child with one our speech and language therapists please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 0885 643.

    Summary

    A receptive problem is a difficulty in understanding spoken and written communication. Having a receptive problem will impact on your child's ability to understand the information around them, this may impact on their academic and social achievement. Speech and language therapy will aim to maximise and increase your child's communicative ability. If you feel you and your child would benefit from speech and language therapy then please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 0885 643.

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    Next steps

    To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email office@slt.co.uk

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