Expressive Language

Expressive ability is our ability to express ourselves through speech, or writing. This is important because a participant may have trouble getting their message across. Telling someone how your day was, sending an email or text, jotting down notes to this presentation are all expressive language.

Dementia may impact the person’s ability to express themselves or to get their message “out”. They may have trouble with speaking, writing, texting, or typing. For example:

  • Difficulty finding the right word or feel it  ‘is on the tip of their tongue’
  • Making sound or word errors. They may use words that are related by meaning, or sound similar, or may be a nonsense word
  • Speaking with slower or hesitant speech
  • There may be less information in what they say – messages may be vague
  • They may make spelling errors, or be unable to write words and messages
  • They may make errors in saying or writing numbers, dates, amounts of money, phone numbers
  • They may have reduced confidence speaking or answering questions
  • For bilingual or multilingual speakers a reduction in a language(s) (more often primary language is less impacted)
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