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Receptive (Understanding) Langauge

What is receptive (understanding) language?


Receptive language - the understanding of language -

is the ability to understand words and language. It

involves gaining information and meaning from:


1. Routine (e.g. i have finished getting dressed

so now it is time to eat breakfast);

2.  Visual Information (e.g. a red light means stop);

3. Sounds (e.g. a siren means an ambulance is driving nearby);

4. Words (e.g. the word basketball means something round that we


5. Concepts (e.g. shapes, colors, time, plural, tense, etc);

6. Written information (e.g. signs such as Do Not Cross) and stories).


Receptive (understanding) language includes:

  • Following instructions

  • Understanding concepts

  • Understanding grammatical elements

  • Understanding sentence structure

  • Understanding questions

  • Understanding stories and written.   ​​


How can I tell if my child has problems with receptive language?

  • Has difficulty attending and listening to language.

  • Does not pay attention

  • Does not follow multiple directions, as compared to his peers; or requires several prompts and repetitions 

  • Responds to questions by repeating what you say instead of giving an answer.

  • Finds it difficult to listen to stories.

  • Gives unusual answers to questions.

  • May demonstrate disruptive behaviors



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