Plz Help, How to increase Receptive Language (understanding of language)

33 replies, Page 1

 Former member 2012-11-06 17:13:38


 Hello friends,

i am very worried about my daughter's receptive language skill, that means ability to understand spoken language,

my daughter is unable to understand conversation, after so much hard work in past 10 months i have been able to make it 5 to 10% only,

i am trying everything from biomedical treatment to conventional therapies, on n on........ but her progress is excruciatingly slow,

if she can not decode language , she wont be able encode language

i am so broken, this condition which is a kind of language disorder (MERLD) is not found in all ASD kids, 

i have talked to various parents, kids on ASD who had receptive language ability, recovered or improved vastly and kids who had similar problem like my DD do not recover mostly , also have difficulty in reading comprehension and are socially more immature then their other ASD counterparts

Plz help me ..........

If u have any kind of suggestion to increase receptivity of language then plz plz post here

also if anybody's kid had this problem and aquired it later plz post it here

or any success story............

Your respone is highly awaited and appreciated,

thank u.............

Aniadhvi 2012-11-06 21:58:55


 Dear rh,


my son was diagnosed with severe MERLD at the age of 2.It stuck me badly unlike all American ,others who starts intervention at 18 months ,I was bit relaxed.But when they gav a diagnosis severe MERLD and when I started researching abdt it,I was badly traumatized ,spent splessnights depression,but I had to be bold but nobody will help ur kid other than u.Due to financial issues we couldn't afford private speech therapy.Thats when I approached early intervention a government run services.So speech therapist started coming when once a week but I started doing my own recasting thro out the day,practically teaching him each and everything by visual demonstrations.Most of the MERLD kids are visual learners,to compensate the lagging of the auditory centre,visual centre becomes more active.My son didn't hav any other issues other than language delay.His preschool played a big game too.He picked up his language quite a bit from school too.Tho he had issues with receptive and expressive both he followed directions at school looking at other kids,he had issued with transition of activities which slowly came down.what I hav realized with all my experience is its a long road and they hav a clock set and u can't over ride that.Once the brain matures there receptive issues will also improve a lot.I was lucky enough that they took away the diagnosis at 3 yr old evaluation and said his speech delay is coz of bilingualism and he is a typical developing kid as there evaluation revealed in normal range which wer on lower side,,but in normal range.


Aniadhvi 2012-11-06 22:07:58



My son receptive language improved with time.There wer times I felt like pulling my hair and run away when he wasn't understanding but today he has come long way.

What I did.

Followed naturalistic methods play to talk a book by Jim Macdonald explains it nicely.

recasting every word he says.

teaching everything practically like taking to library to tell what is lib,taking to park,aquarium everything visual demonstration.

Babby Babble DVD's helped a lot.

reading books first whatever I do he wasn't ready to sit but I used still hold the book and read loudly in the words which he can understand not read whatever is in the book.books by Eric carle,leslie patricelli,tana Hoban all hav less words and big pictures.




Aniadhvi 2012-11-06 22:16:13



I do something called Responsive interactive sessions with him.These are 20 mins activity sessions which are toy based and u giv that toy only during that time.u keep a timer and slowly kids get that when the timer goes off its all done.They do get mad first few days but they realize its only for those 20 mins and they wait for that special play time that sessions every word every action should be initiated by them u just he says boat u say red boat,slowly when words increase u had new word red boat sailing .i can send u you tube video link of my kid and me doing those session send me ur email I'd.

What ever I am followed Dr.Stephen and Mary Camarata  advice.They both are pioneers in the field of Speech language issues and ESP with MERLD KIDS.They hav a website Late talkers consulting and u can see Mary doing naturalistic therapies and she demonstrates how to do it.

i continue to teach my child tho he is out of diagnosis and he is almost like his peers but I feel he is few months behind.Today nobody can say my son had MERLD.


Aniadhvi 2012-11-06 22:17:44


 I am relocating to Bangalore this dec and I hav my concerns for him for indian education system the schools!! Will see how it goes


Aniadhvi 2012-11-06 22:24:38


 Theirs is forum called Naturallatetalkers ,become member to that .There is lot of mothers out there with MERLD and ? Spectrum.just go thro all the journey stories it will giv u lot of hope.There is lot of information too how to work with our kids.I just love that site,since last 1 year the first thing I log on is that forum.It gav me hope courage and how to work with our kids.

Sorry for the long post.If anything u can mail me,call me.I would be glad to do my bit.


Lita 2012-11-07 09:29:58


 Hi Rh,

I am not aware of MERLD much but i was in the same situation like you where my son didn't understand anything,  Then we realised that other kids learn atleast 1 language easily but for  him it was like we are talking in Bengali to a Tamilian person who was not able to understand even a word.  We were not able to get him to teach anything.

Like Anivadhvi mentioned practically teaching each and everything by visual demonstrations and the Responsive interactive sessions, we used something similar, the PRT technique, instead of getting him to teach, we got involved in whatever he is doing and started describing it, like if he is walking,sitting,eating or climbing stairs, we said, walk,sit,eat climb stairs, .... We almost used short words for everything he did, In sometime he started understanding few speech, Started with basic things then slowly we increased the words, Now he is 5, and his receptive language has improved a lot compared to what he had at 3. Still we have a long way to go. We are also doing biomedical, Speech therapy.... Speech Therapist gives idea on what to start first, and slowly move on. As a Parent we want them to learn everything at once, but the kid gets confused so even if we go slowly the result will be fruitfull.

Don't worry, there is a way for everything, You will get there. 


Neethi 2012-11-07 09:48:33



My son didnt understand anything too..At 3 he just woudnt follow instructions...He would ignore plus he had lot of frustrations within himself...I dont know...Those are days I would like to forget....

I used  to explain everything in detail to him...i was always in tears due to his lack of understanding..Whether its days of the week..Like 2day its wed..n u have holiday on sunday...U r eating idli for breakfast..Its healthy food..n so on....He hardly used to listen...But I used to talk...

Believe improve with age n time...Pls giv ur child some time..Gradually,things will fall in place...while u continue with ur efforts....No effort will go in vain..I can assure u that....


ksb78 2012-11-07 14:43:32


@ Aniadhvi : those are really wonderful son's also a late talker...will try the techniques you have mentioned...thanks!!!


@ Neethi : how are you dear? i am sure you and your son are doing good..he's lucky to have you...take care :)



brave 2012-11-09 10:47:37



Aniadhvi: thanks so much for those tips..will try to use them

pl send me the link u have mentioned abt u teaching ur kid .my email id


 Former member 2012-11-10 23:36:07


 @anaidhvi, i am soooooooooooooo thankful to u for ur long and very helpful posts :), i am really grateful, 

@lita, @neethi, thank u very much, after reading your posts that i am not alone in this quest, ur suggestions will surely help

i am telling what i am doing

i am also teaching her every single word visually, either by using picture, actual thing or action

i am also using illustrated story books, v.c.d. , rhymes and dancing to increase her vocabulary and use of speech and language

wherever i take her i describe the scene in simple 2-3 word sentences, i also comment whenever possible on day to day activities too e.g. hum KHANA KHA rahe hain, giving stress on KHANA KHA on these two words and strategies like this

we are also using dietary restrictions (GFCF), supplements, MB12 injections

her OT part was lacking, now i am gonna start that too as i have read that sensory integration helps in speech development too

also i have read that magnesium deficiency leads to auditory processing difficulties so i am gonna try epsom salt bath, as skin absorbs magnesium via this, i ahve not got it in stores till now but i will ask on bigger stores now

i am so thankful to u friends

plz keep posting if u have any other suggestions too.


piyusha 2013-07-17 11:10:04


 Dear rh am keen to know how your daughter has progressed inher receptive language. My son too doesnot seem to nderstand any of our conversation not even mama and papa. How are you working on her receptive language skillsskills


Ananya1 2013-07-17 12:42:49


 Thanks to all the mothers for the useful advice...I was so so worried about my son not talking.All he did till 3.5 was babbling and sometimes repeating what we said, out of nowhere.

Now he is repeating syllables and word by word with no clarity.As in Amma apple ...Also I have noticed that I have to break all the words like banana into ba- nana or potato to    po- ta-to...he will then repeat the words in this broken fashion. He has been like this since 3 months.Though I thank God that I heard atleast Amma from his mouth after a wait of 3.5 years !

But  if I ask him who is Amma ? He will not point at me everytime.So I feel his language is just echolalia..have started with generalisation nd  talking about whatever we come Lita said I feel like Iam talking to him in some

foreign language.Also because of his hyperactivity ...I have difficult time making him sit for longer periods.


Ananya1 2013-07-17 12:57:15


 I haven't heard about MERLD..thanks to Rh for starting this thread.Think I may have to work on this issue too 

Will go slowly as of now ...will archive this thread so that I can use the info in future.

@ Rh and @Anaidhvi..I taught him ' fruits' through some board books ...he started pointing to apple and he says it very clearly APPLE. But now he is pointing to every other picture in the same book and saying- Apple.Does that mean he can't interpret visually.The very thought drives me crazy :(

I try to correct him and will point at the other fruit and say for ex- guava..he will point and say guava.YAY ! But the very next minute he will again go -APPLE for everything.Sorry I know its a weird post but I dont know where do bang my head with this apple thing :)

Any suggestions on how you all started with wen ur little one finally opened mouth.



Violetlight 2013-07-17 15:20:44


 Hi Ananya,

Good day!

any possibility of ur DS linking Apple with that particular book itself instead of picture?

Just try showing the real fruits two different types say apple and Mango for few days continuously and reinforce it by showing it at book. 

Ask your speech therapist for her suggestion.  Try insisting your ST, you will attend with your child every session.

Try Baby Babble DVD; it worked for my child; volume 2 is available in you tube too. Vol 1 has lot of suggestion for parents to improve both receptive and expressive language.

if any oral motor issues are there, your ST would have already told you about blowing bubbles, munching dry fruits like fig safely etc., all the best!




Ananya1 2013-07-17 18:06:06


 Thanks violetlight,

Will try using real objects also.Think Baby Babble DVD will work for my child because he started speaking only after giving continuous input of phonics from youtube and my side.

About the speech therapist,he says my DS will not cooperate if I attend sessions with him.So its a closed room therapy with me literally standing near the door and understanding what approach he is using.Will insist again...

About oral motor issues,he recently learned blowing bubbles and also candles.My OT never told me about munching dry fruits or blowing bubble concept even though we knew DS had oro motor issues.Thanks For the tip.Makes sense as chewing ,biting,sucking ,spitting are all prerequisites.Thanks again !


rad1234 2013-07-22 15:13:30


Ananya1 ,

Where do you for Speech Therapy ?

Pls tell the therapist that the parent has to attend the session too. Our therapist encoraged the parent to be a part of session. I was there with  my child till the very end , when i stopped going . I wanted my child to learn to be without mom around. Attending the session is very important for us , as we learn what to do next , after all the child spends maximum time with the parent.

Pls check Comm-deall site in bangalore. They have a communication kit - Symantics . It will be very helpful to use at home. I used it for my child with the very best of results.

As Violetlight says , use objects and repeat. I know it can try one's patience , but we must not loose it ! Very imp for our kids that we maintain our cool. Also figure out what excites your child. Cranes, buses , cars , dolls ..what ? Start with those objects and teach most of the things around that. Eg - Barbie loves apples !! Apples are red ! U'll be surprsied , how fast our kids get it.. we just need to give them time and ...unconditional love ..however trying and iannoying it gets !!!


Good luck



raunak24 2013-07-22 15:46:08



more than making the child speak a word its important to first make the child experience that object for eg apple

now give an apple to ur child let her touch it and feel it or maybe even bite it to know the taste smell texture that will actually help all her senses to know about that object and it will be easy for her to connect a word pfor that object like wise u can take any object n lket her first experience it n then relkatre a word to it

this method actually helped my child a lot hope u will be benefited too.



Violetlight 2013-07-22 19:46:49


 Good day!

our lovely kids can learn colors, alphabets, shapes, patterns, numbers etc., very fast than abstract concepts and social skills.

So if they learn this as first things it will give confidence to them as well as us.

Pls use simple construction paper/ chart paper and make three shapes. Eg red, blue, green and square, circle and star. So, nine pieces. Make big size one set and small size one set. Ask him to match small red circle with big red circle and so on.,

This simple exercise will teach them colors, shapes, size concepts receptively first then expressively.

The above exercise is my personal experience too.

Also for oral motor help, use different color pompom balls (colorful small cotton balls ). Keep it in a flat plate and let him blow.

For blowing candle, celebrate birthday for his toys one by one.

Rather than everyday dialogue, rhymes are easy to remember. Make him say those last rhyming words first. You can say, "twinkle twinkle little" and let your DS say, "star"

Once he has few words in vocabulary bank, then we can focus on the real conversation stuff.

All the above may not coincide with the professional's (eg ST)order of teaching or way to approach the issue. It's purely a mother's approach.

Best wishes

Sent from my iPad


 Former member 2013-07-22 21:40:39


 @all- as i had started this thread i must thank all the parents who have given input in the thread with some of mine,

as i have posted in other threads various times this is compilation of many things i did,

My daughter didn't have just MERLD, she had full spectrum and auditory processing issues were just a part of it, though auditory processing difficulties contribute maximum to most of the problems faced by us

My daughter has improved a lot on all domains, receptive and expressive speech, play skills, imagination, socialisation, empathy, emotions etc

It has been achieved by combination of Biomedical Treatment, ABA/VBA, floor time (play therapy), NET, errorless teaching, etc but most of all GOOD COMMON SENSE and innovating and changing strategies as new challenges occur

still my daughter's receptive language is not at par her peers, she is far behind but she understands much now, she is able to understand simple instructions, simple stories if told in easy language, able to speak small sentences, able to comment sometimes, now i am trying to take her to higher levels of communication

as aniadhvi has rightly said much of it is related to brain maturation which is mostly delayed in our kids.

I have used a lot of DVDs, various kinds of books,lots of toys,  ipad APPS etc to increase her language and other skills, lots of conversation with key words, supported visually, is essential

Thevioletlight is a very intelligent and diligent mother and she has rightly pointed out many things, starting to teach with real objects is of paramount importnace, teaching by visual mode can not be stressed enough 

still it is a very difficult journey and i pray to god that natural maturation process takes up early in my dd's brain and i don't have to make so much efforts

Due to getting caught up in many things i may not be much active on this website in future, i know how hard all of us have to work, may god bless us and our efforts keep bearing fruits.....

best of luck to all of us



Ananya1 2013-07-22 22:55:53


 Thanks violetlight,rad 1234,raunak24...

For your advice.

@rh...we will miss u...I have a small request ..please do keep us posted of ur daughter's progress .Am sure she will come out beautifully !Also if you get some time in between, plesse post any breakthrough strategies or any advice.

From My personal experience I have learnt and achieved more success with DS  , with other parent's advices rather than therapists !3 parents in my group  have already started using few of the above suggestions !

U never know this thread u may help few parents for whom even a small piece of advice may go a long way.Our Autism world is a small world !

Love to ur little ones...

A xxx



 Former member 2013-07-23 20:14:49


 @Ananya1-- thank u soooooooooooo much dear, i do not mean to leave this site but for a while i may not be that active as i used to be (and u know the reasons)

after a while i may be able to do something more substantial then just being on cyberspace, more responsibility lies on my shoulder then most of the parents ,  much more is needed in India to bring a positive change specially for poor parents who do not have resources like us but less financial resources does not diminish the need of their children, we are a big community in itself, autism community-- special need community-- and ultimately humanity


Ananya1 2013-07-23 21:40:50




Violetlight 2013-07-27 20:16:01


 @rh - Thank you for your boosting words. Last two years, I was used hear only labels like anxious mother, over protective mother etc., and comments like "your son is like this because you are not social, not mingling with people" , "will you go behind your son even when he is a teenager trying to look around for a girl" (when he is hyper in a playground and i go behind his every step)

As Ananya1 said, pls do post us the recovery path/ New strategies. I wish your DD all the best things in this world like she got her best parents. You are such an inspiration to many mothers. All those mother's blessings are bestowed on your daughter whenever they read your post. No exaggeration. It's true to every inspiring mother here who work for their LO's tirelessly.

Sent from my iPad


 Former member 2013-07-27 23:00:38


 @dear ananya and violetlight, i am so touched by your love, may god bless u, ur sweet little kids and your families, u both are gr8 moms who in future will help other moms too in improving their quality of life.

may god bless all mothers, fathers, grannys, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters and friends who are working and praying with all their heart and soul put in to the cause

dear friends, this is a very crucial time for me, i have to take up some decisions which need some time, deep thinking and preparation on my part, i have to take some steps and overcome some of my hesitations (this is the biggest challenge), if i am able to do this then i think i may be able to do something more substantial, and for this reason i am pulling back myself to gather energy, strength and time which is required utmost......


Ananya1 2013-07-28 19:07:14



We wish you all the very best....hugs and love to u and LO...


Tsh 2013-07-31 23:21:21


 @rh all the best....

@violetlight can u plz provide the YouTube link of baby babble. Is it available in market or just on amazon.


Violetlight 2013-08-01 11:02:37



I saw their volume 2 in you tube months back. But today, when I google could not get the link. Might have been removed already.
The DVD set is from ; it is totally 3.  Also they have let's talk together, a home activities book. Also available in amazon.
I also suggest you to visit ," It takes two to talk ", is a very good book from this site.
Best wishes


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