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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Jeret

Language Disorders: Their Impact on Academic Success and the Role of Speech Therapy

A student with an expressive language disorder doing math homework in Highland Park, Illinois Speech Therapy for Language Disabilities in Evanston Illinois 60201, 60204, 60203, 60202, pediatric speech therapy near me

I found my way into the field of speech-language pathology after obtaining my Bachelor’s in math and tutoring in math for ten years. As a tutor, I consistently helped students struggling in math, but I faced challenges in assisting those who not only struggled in math but also had difficulties in one or multiple aspects of language. Upon completing my Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology, the connection between academic success and language became evident to me. Language disorders can have a negative impact on a child's success in school and the future.

This article dives deep into language disorders and how it can impact a child's academic success:

What is a Language Disorder?

What is a Receptive Language Disorder?

What is an Expressive Language Disorder?

What is a Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder?

How Language Disorders Can Impacts a Child's Success in School

Language Disorders Can Impacts a Child's Success in Language Arts

Language Disorders Can Impact a Child's Success in Science and Social Studies

Language Disorders Can Impacts a Child's Success in Math

Expert Tips to Help Your Child with a Language Disorder Succeed in School

Expert Tips to Helping Your Teenager with a Language Disorder Succeed in School

The Impact of Speech Therapy on Language Disorders

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Language Disorder?

A language disorder, also known as a language learning disability (LLD), is a type of learning disability where individuals struggle with expressing ideas, comprehending concepts, and using language for reasoning and problem-solving. Unlike general learning disabilities, language disorders specifically affect how people understand and use language. There are three main types of language disorders: receptive language disorders, expressive language disorders, and mixed expressive-receptive language disorders.

What is a Receptive Language Disorder?

A receptive language disorder occurs when someone has trouble understanding and processing the language they hear. This can include challenges with understanding words and sentences, following directions, comprehending questions, and grasping the meaning of conversations. People with receptive language disorders might seem like they aren’t listening, but in reality, they are struggling to understand what is being said. This disorder can affect both children and adults and often requires speech therapy to improve comprehension skills.

What is an Expressive Language Disorder?

An expressive language disorder happens when someone has difficulty using language to express their thoughts, needs, or ideas. This can involve challenges with forming sentences correctly, finding the right words to say, using proper grammar, and organizing thoughts into coherent speech. Those with expressive language disorders may speak in shorter sentences, leave out important words, or struggle to express themselves effectively. This disorder can impact both children and adults and often requires speech therapy to enhance communication skills.

What is a Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder?

A mixed receptive-expressive language disorder occurs when an individual has challenges both understanding language (receptive) and using language to express themselves (expressive). These challenges can include understanding what others say, following directions, comprehending questions and conversations, and using the right words. Individuals with mixed receptive-expressive language disorders may struggle with both processing language and communicating their thoughts. This can impact their ability to interact with others, follow instructions, and perform well in school. Speech therapy is often needed to address both receptive and expressive language skills.

How Language Disorders Can Impacts a Child's Success in School

Children face various subjects in school, such as language arts, math, science, and social studies. While school can be challenging for many students, those with language disorders often find it even more difficult.

Language Disorders Can Impacts a Child's Success in Language Arts

A child's success in language arts can be significantly affected by a language disorder. These classes focus on reading comprehension, writing skills, vocabulary development, and speaking and listening. Since all these skills are directly related to language, children with language disorders may struggle academically in language arts.

Language Disorders Can Impact a Child's Success in Science and Social Studies

Understanding Vocabulary:

Complex terminology in science and social studies can be difficult for children with language disorders to grasp, affecting their comprehension of instructional materials and class discussions.

Comprehension Challenges:

From detailed experiment procedures in science to complex historical texts in social studies, children with language disorders may struggle with reading comprehension, making it hard to learn and retain information.

Writing Difficulties:

Whether writing lab reports in science or essays in social studies, organizing thoughts and expressing ideas coherently can be challenging for children with language disorders, impacting their ability to convey knowledge effectively.

Participation and Engagement:

Active participation in discussions, following verbal instructions, and engaging in group activities are crucial in both subjects. Language disorders may impede a child's ability to listen attentively and contribute effectively.

Exam Performance:

Assessments in science and social studies often require written responses that demand strong reading comprehension and writing skills. Language disorders can pose barriers to performing well on these exams.

Understanding these challenges allows educators and parents to provide tailored support, accommodations, and strategies that empower children with language disorders to succeed academically in science and social studies.

Language Disorders Can Impacts a Child's Success in Math

In the earlier years, children with language disorders might do well in math due to the focus on computation. However, as math becomes more challenging and involves word problems, these students often struggle. Their performance may decline because solving word problems requires strong receptive language skills.

Student with expressive language disorder in West Rogers Park IL 60645 with speech therapist Stephanie Jeret, speech therapy for child near me

Expert Tips to Help Your Child with a Language Disorder Succeed in School

Understand Their Needs:

Take time to understand your child's language challenges, like understanding, talking, learning new words, or putting sentences together. You might need help from a Speech-Language Pathologist to learn more about their needs.

Communication with Educators:

Keep talking with their teachers openly. Share what your child is good at and what they find hard. This helps create a supportive classroom. Ask teachers for tips that have helped your child in their classroom.

Visual Learning Tools:

Use pictures, charts, and diagrams to explain ideas in all subjects. This makes hard ideas easier to understand.

Break Down Complex Tasks:

Help your child break big assignments into smaller parts. This makes it less overwhelming and helps them understand all parts to a larger assignment.

Encourage Communication:

Encourage your child to talk about what they're learning in their own words. This helps them understand better. If they don't fully understand it, you can help fill in the missing parts.

Language Strategies:

Teach your child strategies like highlighting important words in their work, making clear sentences to explain ideas, and using context clues to help them understand and solve problems.

Collaborate with Professionals:

Work closely with Speech-Language Pathologists and teachers to make a plan that fits your child's needs for learning.

Supportive Learning Environment:

Make your home a place where learning is fun and interesting. Encourage questions and exploring new things.


Be patient and keep helping your child in their school work. Learning with a language disorder takes time and effort.


Keep speaking up for your child's needs at school. Make sure they get the help and support they need to succeed.

Expert Tips to Helping Your Teenager with a Language Disorder Succeed in School

Understanding Their Challenges:

Take the time to understand your teenager's specific language difficulties, whether they involve comprehension, self-expression, vocabulary acquisition, or sentence formation.

Effective Communication:

Maintain open communication with teachers and specialists. Share insights about your teenager's strengths and challenges to ensure they receive appropriate support and accommodations.

Breaking Down Tasks:

Assist your teenager in breaking down complex assignments into manageable steps. This approach reduces stress and helps them follow instructions more effectively across different subjects.

Collaborating with Professionals:

Work closely with speech-language pathologists and teachers to create personalized strategies and goals tailored to your teenager's academic and language needs..

Advocating for Teenagers:

Empower your teenager to actively seek and use academic accommodations and support services that meet their needs, ensuring they have equal opportunities to excel in school.

Building Independence:

Support your teenager in developing independent study habits and organizational skills to help them manage their schoolwork effectively despite their language disorder.

Life Skills Development:

Advocate for opportunities for your teenager to engage in activities outside of school that enhance their communication skills and build confidence, such as clubs, volunteer work, or part-time jobs.

The Impact of Speech Therapy on Language Disorders

Speech therapy for receptive language disabilities with Stephanie Jeret in Wilmette IL 60091, speech therapy for child near me, language learning disabilties

Speech therapy plays a crucial role in addressing and mitigating the impact of receptive, expressive, and mixed language learning disabilities. Speech therapists work closely with individuals to enhance their ability to comprehend and express language, which can lead to significant improvements in various areas of their lives.

Enhanced Expressive Language

Through various exercises, speech therapy helps individuals develop a more robust vocabulary and articulate their thoughts more clearly. This improvement not only boosts their confidence in school or at work but also enhances their social interactions and home life.

Enhanced Receptive Language

Speech therapy employs targeted strategies to improve individuals' understanding of spoken and written language. Activities during therapy sessions may include understanding verbal instructions, comprehending written text (including math word problems), and understanding linguistic concepts. This can help individuals with language disorders better navigate academic and everyday tasks.

Improving Overall Language Development

Individuals can see improvements in many aspects of language, including grammar, syntax, and semantics. These Improvements positively impact academic or employment performance and social communication.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a language disorder impact comprehension?

A language disorder can significantly impact comprehension by limiting vocabulary understanding, making it harder to grasp the meanings of words. Challenges with grammar and sentence structure can further hinder the ability to comprehend complex sentences and the relationships between words. Additionally, problems with processing spoken language and understanding contextual cues can lead to frequent misunderstandings and difficulty following directions.

How do I know if my child has a language disorder?

You might suspect your child has a language disorder if they have difficulty understanding and following directions, or if their vocabulary and sentence structure are noticeably smaller compared to peers. Struggles with expressing thoughts clearly, frustration during communication, or trouble with reading and writing can also be signs. Additionally, if your child does not respond to questions appropriately, it may indicate a language disorder. Consulting with a speech-language pathologist can provide a definitive assessment and appropriate guidance.

Speak with Stephanie: Your Partner in Overcoming Language Disorders near Skokie, Illinois

Language Disabilities present challenges for children and adults in the classroom and workplace. This is where Speak with Stephanie comes in.

Individualized speech therapy interventions:

We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we conduct a comprehensive evaluation to understand the specific areas of challenge that each individual faces.

Engaging learning, successful outcomes:

Speech therapy is fun and interactive, thus making learning more memorable. We may incorporate games and creative activities to target language. Of course, we take into account the client's age.

Empowering parents and educators:

We don't only work with the child, but also guide their parents, educators, and other family members to ensure proper carryover into the home and classroom environment. This is crucial to maximize progress in all settings.

Collaboration with other professionals:

Speak with Stephanie understands the importance of collaboration. We work with other professionals involved with the child, such as doctors, teachers, psychologists, and other related-service providers. This ensures everyone is up to date on your child's progress.

Online Speech Therapy for Language Learning Disabilities Throughout Illinois, New York, and New Jersey

In addition to providing in-person speech therapy, we offer online speech therapy for children and adults to those who clutter throughout Illinois, New York, and New Jersey

Additional Speech Therapy Services Offered at Speak with Stephanie throughout Illinois, New York, & New Jersey

At Speak with Stephanie, we provide comprehensive speech therapy services for children and adults. We specialize in addressing children's language disorders, articulation challenges, and stuttering, offering expert support in these areas. For adults, our expertise extends to communication issues such as language disorders, articulation disorders, stuttering, and aphasia. Our personalized care addresses each individual's unique needs, fostering significant improvements in communication skills. Through our holistic approach, we empower clients to thrive in daily interactions and achieve their full potential.


About the author:

Stephanie Jeret is a Speech-Language Pathologist and the owner of Speak with Stephanie LLC. She obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degree from the City University of New York. She has practiced speech therapy in a number of settings including outpatient rehabilitation, telepractice, skilled nursing facilities, schools, and a private practice. She specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of communication disorders including articulation disorders, receptive/expressive language disorders, and fluency disorders. Information is available by emailing her at or by visiting


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