Mixed receptive/ expressive language disorder

My two year old had been give the diagnosis or mixed receptive expressive language disorder. There is little to go off of other that it has no known cause, he may or may not be able to function at a normal level one day and speech therepy is the only treatment I can find. I am here looking for people who have children with communtication disorders. I want to know what works for you. And please no suggestions of sign language. I'm sure it helps many but the receptive end of my son's disorder does not allow that to be helpful. He is wonderful and loving child who deserves to have every avenue explored for him. So if you have any helpful hints let me know.

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I am a teacher of the deaf in an auditory oral program - no sign language is used. I teach toddlers to listen and talk. For years I have had toddlers with normal hearing in my class too and they seem to respond well unless there is an underlying speech disorder. These kids also get pulled out of class for individual therapy. You might look for this kind of service model, that is, a small language intensive classroom and individual speech therapy.

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Thanks, he is in therepy and doing okay. He has a wonderful teacher. I just was hoping to find other ways to help him. I guess I'm just still looking for his miracle. I know the odds are against it. It's not even for me. I just want him to lead a happy life.

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As a parent I know the hope for a "normal" life for your child is paramount. Unfortunately none of this
is guaranteed and sometimes the writing on the wall shows that it is also probably improbable. Now set that aside and embrace who your child IS. The diagnosis he has been given will never define who he becomes or what he is like as a human being. There are times in my own life where I simply have to mentally divorce myself from what the experts have told me about my daughter Grace and look at her through a Mom's eyes which are always clouded with love, hope, encouragement and worry. Do all that you can now to build a foundation of skills for your son. That includes helping him with learning what seems far too difficult to learn but in time will become possible. Communicate with everyone that cares for and works with your child. Tell them of your investment in helping him achieve his potential and then they may be open to being more invested in your child as well. When someone is not helping your child don't waste his precious time with wondering if you should have someone else do the job. Be his advocate and get that better person. Mostly fill his life with affirmations of love and hope. Teach him to be himself but also to embrace all that he is and is not. A high self esteem can be excellent armour in the battle of life. Fill his self esteem "bank" daily so that in tough times he can make withdrawals as needed to maintain being his personal best.

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keep his mind active and exercised. Your son reminds me of my nephew Alex. He is 3 now and still cannot put 2 words together, yet he is intellegent in all other ways. Dr. says he is just behind a couple of years...duh...do you think?? But I know and believe it is more than that. I am trying to pressure my brother to take him to a specialist. However, in the meantime, "Baby Mozart" dvd was purchased for him. It is fabulous! At least if nothing at all it keeps his brain stimulated. Never under estimate the power of the brain. Also, "Baby Can Read". I myself have used this method on children and it works like they claim it to work. However it takes some children/infants longer than others. But it too at least stimulates other parts of the brain in ways you can't imagine. Love and cuddles are important but work is needed at home as you are trying to say to the public.

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Hello, I hope you still check for replies as I am a little late in responding.

My son was diagnosed with MERLD when he was 5. The pediatric neurologist's exact words were, "He may improve." There was a positive tone when he spoke, but it wasn't enough for me. I had never heard of MERLD and was extremely disappointed to discover that there wasn't much in the way of information about it. When he began school, I had to fill his special ed teacher in about it, as she had never heard of it either.

Drew was developing normally till it was time to start walking and talking. Around 2 I started sensing something about him was different than my nieces and nephews. When he turned 3 he began to get very frustrated that he couldn't communicate his needs to me. More than not, parenting him was very hard. There were times he would literally scream at me for hours and there was no consoling him. More than once I actually hid from him and just cried for him and for myself not knowing what else to do. BTW he didn't fully potty train til he was 5.

I started him out in speech therapy at the age of 4 at his pediatrician's suggestion because by 4 he had only spoken 2 intelligible words and never said them again. 2 very expensive sessions a week (in a city that was over an hour away) with minimal results. I didn't know that the local school had speech therapy and other programs for children under 5 that were free, so now I tell folks to check out their schools for help first before turning to private practices.

Other than reading to him constantly and summoning every fiber of patience in my being on a daily basis lol, there wasn't much I personally found that was helpful to him as far as development wise. The very best thing for mine, was going to school. I agree with the other suggestion of getting to know his teachers and therapists very well. I did and I found that when we worked together it helped Drew go further than if I had just sent him to school and been done with it. Teachers also take more of an interest in your child's education and progress when you make it clear how very important it is to you.

Today he is almost 11 and I am blown away at how very sweet and mild natured and awesome my son is! He has improved tremendously. He has my and my husband's sense of humor and our musical abilities. He never complains, he's easy going, and he's my best friend. :) I sometimes forget how trying those first years were.

He still struggles a little with speech which can hinder his ability to make friends, but once the kids get to know him, they really like him.

His speech therapy and OT sessions have been reduced to 1 or 2 sessions a month. He is in half special ed classes/ half modified regular ed classes and is doing well.

I know you are hoping that someone can give you some concrete ways to help your son's development and your communication with each other, because I was hoping for the same thing after mine was diagnosed, but my personal experience has just been patience, and good relationship with his teachers and therapists, and more patience. If you live in an urban area, there may be support groups or playgroups for families with special needs kids.

If you would like to ask me any questions I'd be happy to help in any way I can.


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Hello. My daughter Haley is 2 1/2 right now and was diagnosed with MRELD shortly after she turned two. We've had her in early intervention since she was 1 1/2 and we thought at that time it was her hearing. We couldn't get her attention to save our life. We had her down to Children's Hospital where they did hearing test and everything came back great. We relieved and confused at the same time. We thought...well if it's not her hearing then what is it? She has an older sister Emily - and when I say older - only by 11 months :) And we were use to the way Emily just picked up on words, gestures, etc. but Haley was different. At 1 1/2 I still couldn't get mama, dada, baba, nothing...

After the hearing test came back okay - we took her back down to Children's to the developmental unit to have her evaluated - that's when we got this diagnoses. She wasn't a fit for the autism spectrum. She does have some repetitve behaviors, but what two year old doesn't?

She's been in Early Intervention now for 1/2 a year and we just started yesterday what they call Wrap Around Services and we actually got 10 hours approved through her insurance so that they can come work with her 2 hours a day - 5 days a week. I'm a full-time working mom so I need all the help I can get.

Since the treatment - she has made some big improvement (not the improvement that I wanted but I've really had to learn to start comparing her to every other 2 year old) - she will now dance to music, jump up and down, and her latest thing is she will actually throw stuff in the trash when asked to. This took so much work and until you have a child like this you don't understand the frustration. She still doesn't understand who mommy & daddy are or to go get her blankie or shoes but we're making progress. As far as the language goes - she still doesn't speak any words. The only thing that's in her vocabulary is "oh no" and she'll even use it in context when she's dropped something or somethings broke. It's funny - but that's the only word she holds on to :)

I'm not sure this post helped in anyway and this is actually the first time I've ever even did a post like this or looked into a support group. But I wanted you to know that I'm here and going through a very similar situation to yours.

I would be interested in hearing your progress and it's been awhile since you've posted this.

Hope to hear from you. BTW - if you would ever like to send me an email - it's valeriez101@yahoo.com

Hope to hear from you!

Mom to Haley

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I was reading my post and I meant to say that I've really needed to work on NOT compairing her to every other 2 year old :)

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Hi, I'm Saffron's momi.... I have three children.. eldest is ahead of her years... my middle child who has MRELD... my youngest who is where he needs to be... so you see.. I have children in every stage a child can be.... one thing for sure as the previous moms have posted... PATIENCE.. ACCEPTANCE and ADVOCACY for your child is really the formula... everything else is a lesson for you... to accept that things are just the way they should be not the way society says it should be... just encourage your child to learn step be step and learn according to their level with a nudge here or there... I too have cried on many times... I'm my child's greatest fan... when she exceeds she gets many cheers and if she fails.. I'm right there to pick her up... I would love to know where you mums are... as I live in Surrey BC and would like to connect and have my child form friendships with children who are seeing the world as she does... thanks for reading... saffrons momi..

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My daughter is now four - at the age of three she was diagnosed with MERLD and was not speaking more than two words repetetively, not following any instruction, tantrums constantly.
Got her into speech therapy, learned a few tricks. One important thing to do is repeat, repeat, repeat. You have to ask them a question and answer the question, while doing that task. Say for example while giving a bath, ask "Why do we take a bath? Because we are dirty. Because we want to get clean" You have to do this with everything and believe me, it has helped. Using your hands, physical examples and repetition has gotten my daughter to the point that she is going to transition from special education preschool to regular school. She can now answer most questions, still has trouble with 'why' questions but is improving. Its hard, its tiring but they are so worth the effort.
Good luck!

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I, too, have a 3.5 year old recently diagnosed with mixed receptive and expressive language disorder. i joined this discussion group so I can relate with other parents because most of your experiences and observations with your kids are the same as mine. His two word utterances are limited to let's go, let's eat, happy birthday. Yes, educational videos help, for he can sing nursery rhymes and other songs from memory yet pronunciations are not so clear. With the doctor's recommendation, we enrolled him to mainstream with kids his age and with a daily one hour individualized session with an OT. Before that, he usually points at things to communicate. Now, his vocabulary increased and he's now able to answer "What is your name?", "How old are you?" and where questions although we're still working on spatial prepositions. Still he can't relate to why questions. His on two month vacation from school, meantime his doctor is requesting for speech therapy sessions. Since there are few ST practitioners, we are queued and still waiting. Hope that this will greatly help Lucas. At first, I thought that this is just a short term intervention process, but reading through your sharings, this could be tough and yes it will require a lot of effort and patience and a lot of prayers too. In the initial evaluation we received from the therapist, they noted that we need to provide SUPERNORMAL levels of stimulation to help him catch-up. A home program was recommended together with speech therapy and OT sessions and regular school mainstreaming. Will keep you posted on his progress, goodluck to us all!

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Hi! My son was diagnosed with mixed expressive receptive language disorder last fall. Normal development until 3rd birthday, then lots of tantrums and crying because he was unable to verbalize his needs, even though he had an above average vocabulary. Misdiagnosed first with autism spectrum disorder. Tested at local school district and qualified for special ed langauge based program (Early Childhood Developmental Delay). He has been going 5 afternoons a week, and there is a speech therapist and occupational therapist there. He is doing really well! At conferences, his progress was off the charts. He is so much happier now. We also have him at a tutoring center where he works with a speech pathologist twice a week for half an hour. He is doing well there, too. He is very intelligent, we just have to give him a minute to give us his real answer. Echolalia (repeating) is almost gone. We have read books to him since he was in utero, taught him how to count since he was an infant, played Baby Einstein music and videos, watched Little Einsteins TV show, and let him play piano, enrolled him in Gymboree, swimming lessons, and soccer. He goes to regular preschool two mornings a week but we'll discontinue that this fall because he is already learning so much more in the ECDD program, which is free. He can write his name, numbers, and words, which they don't even do in the regular morning preschool. We expose him to everything and see where his interests are. He still whines and has tantrums, but I was relieved to read that is age appropriate because he is in the rapprochement stage of development (aka the "trying threes" stage). We talk to him about everything, which we learned from the speech pathologist, and ask him "w" questions (who, what, when, where). His sentence structure isn't always correct, but at least he is able to communicate SO much better now. Hope that helps!

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My son was diagnosed with mixed receptive/expressive language disorder when he was 4, he is now 6 and just finished Kindergarten.

He receives speech therapy and OT in school and we pay for a speech therapist once a week at home(insurance will not cover speech).

He has made good progress in the past year. I was very worried at the end of preschool, the teachers told me Kindergarten would be very difficult for him, especially full day Kindergarten. He adjusted wonderfully and did well.

We try to read a lot to him and spend extra time going over school work.

He still struggles with recall memory and describing things well enough for everybody to understand.

He is a very friendly, talkative 6 year old. I'm thankful for is wonderful personality.

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hello i have a 6 year old little girl that has expressive/receptive language disorder. we are still ging to doctors to see what all we can do for her. its very emotionally for me as her mom. i want her be social and interact with her peers at school. she will be in 1st grade this year ,alittle worried. she did wonderful in kindergarden and past with flying colors. its very hard for her to get the right words out though,along with getting very upset when things don't go her way. i know she has a very hard time putting her sentences together and just talking to us. we just cheer her on when she does good at school and praise her for all she has over come so far. she has come along way.But she still has soo much to learn and i know its going to get harder for her. if there are other parents out there that have children with the same language disorder i would love to here from u. ive never posted on this and i just would love to find someone who knows what im going through and if theres any thing more i can do to help my little girl. thanks

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hi my daughter is 6 years old and is going to first grade this year. we were also told she has expressive and receptive language disorder. she has come along way from when she was 3 when we thought it was just a hearing problem. she has a hard time comprehending what we are saying to her, at school they took her out of her iep program because they said they thought she would benifit more in a regular class, which she only went for 30 min for her iep. she is in speech and ot. her fine motor in her hands are weak so they are working on that. the thing i worry about the most is her socializing with kids at school,will she be able to keep up this year with all the things she needs to know for first grade. they sais she did wonderful in kindergarden. never one problem. i just hope she will be able to catch on to what they are meaning and wanting her to do this year. she is my heart and i love her dearly ,i just want to be able to help her in any way possible so she can one day go out in life and do for herself.

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Hopefully I can be of reassurance to someone. I'm 30 years old and was just diagnosed with MRELD myself. I just graduated law school and took the New York State bar exam last week. I have a Master's degree, too. The point of all that is that I did it all without ever having any help (or diagnosis) for my problems. So the fact that your children are already receiving attention should comfort you a bit!

First off, kudos to you all who were aware enough to have your children examined. I think that is such a huge step in making a difference in the life of your child. I struggled my entire life with feeling unable to express myself and unable to really understand what people were saying or doing around me. It was never disabling, but I always felt very different from everyone around me. My life was lonely and it was difficult because no one ever understood my problems so I was left to feel like if only I tried HARDER, everything would be ok.

Everything is ok for me, and I feel pretty sure it will be for your kids. You are paying attention to their needs and are aware of their problems. That is, in and of itself, going to make a remarkable difference. I think the thing I can say that would have made my life a lot easier would have been exactly what you are doing: paying attention to your child, understanding their need for extra attention, extra explanation, extra assurances, and practically speaking, extra time for any tests they'll have to take in school. I think the best thing you can do is just give those kids reassurances that it's ok that they may have to work a lot harder than their peers to achieve the same level. There isn't anything that they can't do; it may just take a lot of extra effort for them.

Last thing...I think teaching balance is really important in the long run. I didn't learn that until recently, and my social and emotional life have suffered tremendously. When you have to put in more effort, and more time, than everyone around you, it becomes very easy to forget to do other things (like have a real life). Show them how to treat people. Show them the importance of supportive relationships. Those are the things that will help them get through life a little bit happier with the burden they'll be carrying.

2 Cents.

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Thank you so much for posting. My son is 6 and it is on my mind constantly as to what kind of future he will have.

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Hello LawyerforJustice. I read your post here and it really inspires me. My child was diagnosed with MRELD at 2yrs old, he is now 3. Although he was in speech therapy I was really worried that my kid will never 'come out of his shell'. But reading your post, i really felt inspired that all we need to do is support him and give extra effort on everything.

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Thank you for posting. It really is inspiring for others in same situation. I think my son also has MRELD. He is nearly 2yrs old now, and no words yet and doesn't seem to understand us and doesn't follow any request or command. It's very frustating. I am very worried at times,
when i think what kind of future he will have. but your email really cheered me. I can see some hope for him.
Thank you.

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I don't know if any of you saw that I am writing a book on living with MERLD, but I sure could use testimonials for the book. I have it posted on another discussion. I can change names if you like.

Two of my children have MERLD, one is moderate to severe and one has in the lesser form. The main thing we've found is to keep life normal for your children. Speak to them normally. Keep them in mainstream classes. Just keep speech going. Read often to the children and ask them questions about the books. Give them time to respond. Most MERLD children, I've found through my research, are normal to above average intelligence. It's like aphasia (and many insurance companies classify MERLD as such so the speech gets paid for) after a stroke. You have to work every day at activity, but the kids also need passive time, TV, etc. just like any other kid. Buy the Wii. It helps them make quick decisions. Play it with them. Get them involved in tball, etc. You want the brain to make new connections..the younger the better. My son now is no longer classified as moderate to severe, just moderate on expressive. It's taken three years or better. But he has gone from nearly nonverbal to can't stop talking. He gets frustrated when he is tired because the words don't come the way he likes. Be patient and work hard as a family. MERLD is likely not a life sentence for your child. But it takes work and your advocacy. Please let me know who wants to give testimonials for the book. I need about 50 people if possible.

Cheryl Hosmer

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i am a mother of a 3.5 year old boy who was diagnosed with MERLD at 18 months. i agree with you that there is very little out there, i know it can be really frustrating but there are some things that i have found to be really helpful for my son. those include, speech therapy, occupational therapy, cranial sacral therapy and the REI Listening Program which will help infinitely for the receptive part of the disorder. if this music therapy does interest you, google REI- Jeff Strong. patience....lots of patience is very very important. when my son was first diagnosed he had zero words and was making very few sounds. he really didnt respond to much but over the years there has definitely been progress. he is nowhere near what a 3.5 year old should be developmentally, but today he has at least 100 words and understands questions that have been repeated and memorized over time.

I hope i have helped you.

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