Receptive Language

Receptive language is understanding. This is your child's ability to understand the words they hear and/or read. Different receptive language skills are expected at different ages. The symptoms of children experiencing difficulties with their receptive langague skills can be varied and will depend on their age.

Some possible symptoms that may indicate your child is experiencing difficulties with their receptive language skills include:

  • Frustration
  • Difficulties following an instruction
  • Difficulties understanding a complex sentence
  • Difficulties answering questions
  • Difficulties listening and responding in the classroom/home
  • Attention difficulties
  • Behaviour difficulties
  • Repeating back what is said to them (echolalia)
  • Difficulties with making and keeping friends 


The causes of receptive 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 receptive language skills.  

What can I do about it?

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 for both immediate and 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 receptive language skills contact Chatterbox Speech Pathology to book an assessment for your child.

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