What is receptive language?
Receptive language is the comprehension of language -
listening and understanding what is communicated. Another way to
view it is as the receiving aspect of language. (Sometimes, reading
is included when referring to receptive language, but some people
use the term for spoken communication only.) It involves being
attentive to what is said, the ability to comprehend the message,
the speed of processing the message, and concentrating on the
message. Receptive language includes understanding figurative
language, as well as literal language. Receptive language includes
being able to follow a series of commands.
Receptive language is one of the two aspects of communication in
language or communication theory - the other being expressive
language (which refers to being able to produce speech and
communicate a message). Some people can speak better than they can
understand or vice versa; in other words, some are better at
receptive language, while others are better at expressive language.
Someone who excels at one is not necessarily good at the other.
This terminology often appears in discussions of communication
theory, speech and language disorders, and second language
This is where the child understands what other people are
saying. It is a major step in the progress of a child with Autism.
It is however not enough for the child to understand just a handful
of words such as food, milk, bike etc. A typical child of seven can
understand and use at least 10,000 words. A child with Autism needs
to have his receptive language boosted as early and as quickly as