Difficulty talking in words and sentences (expressive language skills)


Saying what you want to say involves many different skills - you have to:

  • Choose the right words
  • Put those words together into a sentence that makes sense (using grammatical rules)
  • Organise your ideas into the appropriate order.

A child who has difficulties with expressive language skills may do some of the following:

  • Find it hard to learn or recall words - so they don't have the right words to say what they want
  • Have difficulty putting words together into sentences
  • Use sentences typical of a much younger child
  • Miss words out, e.g. 'teddy in bed' instead of 'put the teddy in my bed'
  • Make mistakes, e.g. 'I blowed the candles out' instead of 'I blew the candles out'
  • Have difficulty choosing the right words to use - sometimes this is called 'word-finding difficulties'
  • Find it difficult to organise their thoughts, so they are unable, for example, to tell you about something that has happened to them
  • Seem to need more time to plan and organise their thoughts and language.

If you are concerned that your child is not talking and expressing their ideas as they should, go to our 'Developmental Milestones' page to see what is expected at what age.