Expressive Language

Expressive language means talking. This is your child's ability to join words to form sentences using the correct vocabulary and grammar. Expressive language is different to speech sounds and can be easily confused when listening to your child. Speech sounds are the way your child pronounces sounds in their words. Expressive language difficulties can affect your child's ability to get their message across using spoken or written language. 

Children can experience difficulties with their receptive language skills and expressive language skills and speech sound development or it can have difficulty in one of these areas only.

The symptoms can vary from child to child depending on their age. The following symptoms may indicate that your child is experiencing difficulties with their expressive language development:

  • Difficulties using the correct grammar. For example confusing his/her, is/are etc.
  • Using short sentences for their age.
  • Not combining words to form sentences.
  • Using jargon (made up words) in their sentences.
  • Unfamiliar people find it difficult to understand your child.
  • Difficulties with holding a conversation.
  • Difficulties with finding the 'right' word in conversation.
  • Difficulties with retelling a story.
  • Difficulties with writing a story.
  • Difficulties with writing reports for school year and age.


The causes of expressive language difficulties are often unknown. A number of factors may be working together to contribute to your child's difficulties. Family history is often the most likely indicator, although this may not always be the case. A child's general  cognitive development, exposure to language and personality can all impact on a child's expressive language skills.  

Help! What can I do?

Call Chatterbox Speech Pathology to make an appointment for your child. Speech Pathologists are specifically trained to assess and treat your child's language. Don't wait. Early intervention has been proven to help children achieve their best both now and for later success. In general these difficulties do not just 'go away'. Your child is not having these difficulties because they are lazy. You may find they are starting to avoid situations where they have to talk, or will become frustrated when they have to do their homework. This is because it is simply hard for them. A parent does not cause their child to have these difficulties, however a parent with specific advise and support can help their child to achieve success.

If you have concerns for your child's expressive language skills, contact Chatterbox Speech Pathology to book an assessment.

  • In Penrith (02) 4731 2432
  • In Narellan (02) 4647 6777