Symptom Tests

[Self-Test] Language Processing Disorders in Children

Your child struggles to express himself or to follow conversations. Could these be signs of an expressive or receptive language processing disorder? Take the results of this self-test to a speech language specialist to find out for sure.

Does My Child Have a Language Processing Disorder?

Children learn to talk over a period of several years by listening to and interacting with their parents, siblings, and others around them. Some children, however, don’t progress through the natural stages of language development, and may struggle to make themselves understood or to understand what others are saying. Some of these kids are just “late talkers,” but others may have a language disorder. If your child doesn’t seem to be talking or understanding at the same rate as his peers, you may be right to be concerned — and you likely want to consider a speech and language evaluation.

Language disorders can be expressive — meaning your child will struggle to say what he’s thinking or to make himself understood. They may also be receptive — meaning your child will struggle to understand what others are saying to him. It’s possible to have both an expressive and a receptive language disorder. And since language is an integral part of how we cultivate relationships and present ourselves to the world, it’s imperative that you seek an evaluation for your child as soon as you notice delays.

Use this self-test to see if your child may be showing signs similar to those of an expressive or receptive language disorder. Keep in mind that one or two warning signs do not mean your child has a language disorder, but it might indicate that you should talk with your doctor about your child’s development. Also, keep in mind that not every language disorder is developmental. In rare cases, a language disorder can develop after a traumatic brain event like a stroke, a head injury, or a neurological illness.

This screening test is designed to determine whether your child shows symptoms similar to those of language processing disorders. This test is not intended to diagnose or to replace the care of a speech and language professional. If you have concerns about the possibility of language disorders, see a trained healthcare professional for diagnosis. 

Created from criteria from the Learning Disabilities Association of America.

Does your child get frustrated when speaking or complain that no one understands what they're trying to say?
Does your child say words out of order or leave words out entirely when speaking?
Does your child ever mix up common question words like “How,” “Why,” and “Where?” For example, if you ask what they are doing, do they respond with “Fine?”
Does your child ask you to repeat yourself?
Was your child a “late talker?"
Does your child say “stuff” or “things” instead of using specific words, even if they're referring to a common object?
Does your child repeat himself or herself during conversation, seemingly without noticing?
Does your child seem to ignore directions he or she is given or skip one or more steps?
Does your child wait to start working until he or she sees what the children around them are doing?
Does your child seem disinterested when other people are talking, rarely asking questions or making follow-up comments?
Does your child use fewer words than other children his or her age?
Does your child use words incorrectly, seemingly without noticing?

(Optional) Would you like to receive your language processing disorder test results — plus more helpful resources — via email from ADDitude?

Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.


Language Processing Disorders in Children: Next Steps

1. LearnWhat Language Processing Disorder Looks Like in Children
2. Research: How to Treat Language Processing Disorders
3. Take This Test: Auditory Processing Disorder in Children
4. Take This Test Full ADHD Symptoms Test for Children
5. Take This Test Dyslexia Symptom Test for Children
6. Take This Test Sensory Processing Disorder for Children
7. Take This Test Inattentive ADHD Symptom test for Children

Updated on December 11, 2019

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