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Learnigo Product Feature: Understanding Speech

Learnigo's Understanding Speech Program

An estimated 6-15% of children have a language disorder with no known cause (“Speech and Language Disorders in Children,” 2016). Some children experience receptive language difficulties (affecting language comprehension), expressive language difficulties (affecting spoken and written language), or both.

Language disabilities often co-occur with other disabilities, including Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual disabilities, and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Receptive language difficulties can impact a child academically and socially. The Learnigo SLP: Understanding Speech program was created for teachers and therapists working to strengthen receptive language skills. By supporting foundational receptive language skills, teachers, therapists, and caregivers can minimize the impact of a language disorder and support a child’s linguistic development.

Identifying a Receptive Language Disorder

Diagnosing a receptive language disorder can be challenging since comprehension difficulties often co-occur with other disabilities. Formal diagnosis should be made by a speech-language pathologist, who will complete a comprehensive evaluation of the child’s receptive and expressive language skills.

Pay attention if a child presents difficulties with the following skills, as this may signal the need for further intervention and evaluation:

  • Following directions
  • Answering questions
  • Recalling new vocabulary
  • Hearing and auditory processing
  • Sequencing steps
  • Retelling and/or remembering previously presented information
  • Understanding nuanced vocabulary, such as negation (e.g., “touch the ball that is not red”), prepositions (e.g., “put your shoes under the table”), and temporal concepts (before…after)

By about the age of 5, most children should have a vocabulary repertoire of approximately 1,000+ words, an understanding of sequential and temporal concepts, the ability to answer comprehension questions about an age-appropriate story, and comprehend the majority of everyday conversations.

Supporting a child with a Receptive Language Disorder

Research has shown several key strategies that can support a child with receptive language difficulties (Law et al., 2017). As receptive language impacts comprehension, maintaining clear and concise communication is important. This can look like:

  • Using shortened statements and simplified language
  • Providing additional context, such as real-life examples and visual supports
  • Communicating concisely, slowly, and exaggerating target linguistic concepts
  • Focusing on consistent structures and instructions to support comprehension
  • Pausing and rephrasing (e.g., “I think that was an important detail. Let’s go back and read it again!”)
  • Practicing asking questions and paying attention to details; guessing games, for example, are a fun way to enhance listening and inference skills
  • Repetition, repetition, repetition!

As always, professionals such as speech-language pathologists can help with many of these strategies. It is essential to support the child holistically, best achieved when the entire team is aware of strategies that help the child succeed in and out of the classroom.

Children learn best when they are hands-on, engaged, and having fun. Following a child’s interest, whether it be books, movie characters, technology, toys, etc., is an effective way to teach concepts by making learning personally relevant and interesting.

We at Learnigo embody this notion whenever we create our interactive activities. Read on to learn about how our Understanding Speech program helps children practice receptive language skills while having fun! 

The Learnigo Understanding Speech program

The Learnigo SLP: Understanding Speech program is a comprehensive digital tool created by SLPs for SLPs to support foundational comprehension skills, such as:

  • Nouns
  • Verbs
  • Categories
  • Adjectives
  • Following Directions

The program features over 1,000 interactive activities, ranging from games, puzzles, matching, to drag-and-drop, designed to build on comprehension skills while keeping children engaged and having fun. Additionally, the program includes printable worksheets for each skill for additional practice, customizable screens with options for hints, minimizing distractions, and a progress panel.

The Understanding Speech (SLP) program is tailored for therapists and teachers working with children who have receptive language difficulties, suitable for younger students focusing on foundational receptive language skills, yet easily adaptable for children with different levels of cognitive functioning, specifically addressing the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Below are some examples of the activities included in the program:

Understanding Speech Screenshot Example 1
Example of a noun activity targeting common thematic vocabulary –sports
Example of a two-step directions activity including real-life objects
Understanding Speech Screenshot Example 3
Categories practice featuring listening to familiar sounds and matching them to the category they belong to

These examples are just a few of the interactive activities that await you at Learnigo! We invite you to try our free 30-day Trial! There, you can sample some of the activities in worksheets included in the dynamic Understanding Speech program.

Access the free Understanding Speech lesson plan here!

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Committee on the Evaluation of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability Program for Children with Speech Disorders and Language Disorders; Board on the Health of Select Populations; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Institute of Medicine; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Rosenbaum S., Simon P., (eds.). “Speech and Language Disorders in Children: Implications for the Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program.” Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2 (2016). Childhood Speech and Language Disorders in the General U.S. Population. Available from:

 Law, J., Dennis, J.A., & Chalrton, J.V. (2017). “Speech and language therapy interventions for children with primary speech and/or language disorders.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012490.