Language Processing Disorder

Little girl holding up toy blocks that spell "LEARN".Affects attaching meaning to sound groups that form words, sentences and stories.

A specific type of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). While an APD affects the interpretation of all sounds coming into the brain (e.g., processing sound in noisy backgrounds or the sequence of sounds or where they come from), a Language Processing Disorder (LPD) relates only to the processing of language. LPD can affect expressive language (what you say) and/or receptive language (how you understand what others say).

Signs and Symptoms

  • Has difficulty gaining meaning from spoken language
  • Demonstrates poor written output
  • Exhibits poor reading comprehension
  • Shows difficulty expressing thoughts in verbal form
  • Has difficulty labeling objects or recognizing labels
  • Is often frustrated by having a lot to say and no way to say it
  • Feels that words are “right on the tip of my tongue”
  • Can describe an object and draw it, but can’t think of the word for it
  • May be depressed or having feelings of sadness
  • Has difficulty getting jokes


  • Speak slowly and clearly and use simple sentences to convey information
  • Refer to a speech pathologist
  • Allow tape recorder for note taking
  • Write main concepts on board
  • Provide support person or peer tutor
  • Use visualization techniques to enhance listening and comprehension
  • Use of graphic organizers for note taking from lectures or books
  • Use story starters for creative writing assignments
  • Practice story mapping
  • Draw out details with questions and visualization strategies

Excerpted from the LDA of California and UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute “Q.U.I.L.T.S.” Calendar 2001-2002