top of page

Navigating Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder in Children

A girl child thinking something with index finger on her chin

As a speech therapist, I often encounter a variety of language disorders that affect children's ability to communicate effectively. One such complex challenge is Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder (MRELD). In this blog, we'll dive into what MRELD entails, its underlying causes, the diagnostic process, and the therapeutic journey to help these young minds flourish.

What is Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder?

Think of language as a bridge between thoughts and the world. For children with MRELD, this bridge faces two challenges. Firstly, they find it tricky to understand what others are saying or what they read—this is the "receptive" part. Secondly, expressing themselves can be tough—they might struggle to find the right words or put their thoughts into sentences—that's the "expressive" part. Essentially, MRELD makes communication a bit like solving a puzzle with missing pieces.

Receptive versus Expressive Language infographic

Causes of Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder:

The origins of MRELD are complex and multifaceted. While pinpointing a singular cause is often difficult, research suggests a blend of various factors like:

  • genetic,

  • neurological, and

  • environmental factors.

  • A family history of language disorders may increase susceptibility.

  • Premature birth, exposure to toxins during pregnancy,

  • And, limited early language exposure can also contribute to the disorder's development.

Diagnosis of Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder:

The journey of diagnosing MRELD requires a team effort involving speech-language pathologists, medical professionals, educators, and parents. It often involves a battery of language tests to assess the child's receptive and expressive language abilities. Observing the child's interactions and communication patterns in various contexts is equally important. A thorough medical history review helps us understand any underlying conditions contributing to the disorder.

Treatment of Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder:

One of the most important factor in overcoming MRELD is early intervention. Customized speech-language therapy sessions for the gist of treatment. Drawing from various therapeutic techniques, we help children build their vocabulary, enhance sentence structure, refine listening skills, and improve social communication abilities. These sessions are tailored to suit each child's unique needs, gradually helping them overcome the language barriers that once hindered them.

Collaboration is the essence of effective treatment. We provide parents and caregivers with tools to continue language development at home, as is equally essential.

How Can You Help?

The good news is, you're not alone on this journey. Here are some steps you can take to support your child:

1. Early Intervention: Like fixing a puzzle as soon as you see a missing piece, early help is important. The earlier we start working together, the better. Reach out to a speech therapist who can create a plan tailored to your child's needs.

2. Patience and Encouragement: Imagine if the puzzle pieces were hard to fit together. Your child might need more time to find words or understand what's being said. Be patient and encourage them to communicate, even if it's a bit tough.

3. Talk, Talk, Talk: Just like practicing a sport or playing an instrument, practicing language is key. Talk to your child about everyday things. Describe what you're doing, ask them questions, and listen actively to their responses.

4. Reading Time: Reading together is like adding colorful pieces to the puzzle. Choose books with simple words and bright pictures. Let your child point to things in the pictures and talk about them.

5. Play and Games: Playtime is learning time! Simple games like "I Spy" or building with blocks can help develop language skills while having fun.

6. Be Their Biggest Cheerleader: Every small step your child takes toward better communication is a victory. Celebrate their efforts, no matter how small.

Remember, no one understands your child better than you. If something doesn't feel right or if you have concerns, don't hesitate to talk to a speech therapist for your child.

Read more:

Sounderic provides online speech therapy sessions for children with various communication disorders. We would love to help you. Get in touch with us on WhatsApp at +919644466635 or schedule a consultation with us at

Follow us on Facebook, and Instagram or join our community of 18,000 parents from all across the world here, "Speech therapy guide for parents".


1. Johnson C, Brown L. "Understanding the Etiology of Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder: A Multidisciplinary Approach." Child Development Perspectives.

2. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). "Diagnosis and Treatment of Childhood Language Disorders."

3. Rice M, Smith S. "Children with Specific Language Impairment: An Overview of Research on Genetics, Neurobiology, and Pathophysiology." Journal of Communication Disorders.

4. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). "Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder: Information for Parents."

5. Bishop D. "Genetic and Environmental Influences on Language Development in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders." Frontiers in Psychology.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page