Our Literacy Story: Reading with Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder

Posted in Autism, Parenting, Sponsored

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyLiteracyStory #DGMyStoryEntry #CollectiveBias


Reading is big in our family. We all love reading, and find ourselves diving into books any chance we get.

However, when our oldest daughter was diagnosed with developmental Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder (MERLD) at age 2, reading started to hold an even more important role in our family.

I am excited to have the chance to share our family’s literacy story as a part of Kellogg’s® Here’s My Story campaign, which supports the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and their mission.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is celebrating over 20 years of helping individuals learn to read, prepare for their high school equivalency, or learn English. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $140 million to nonprofit organizations and schools that have helped more than 9 million individuals advance their literacy and basic education skills.

Kellogg’s, whom you probably already know from their yummy cereals like Frosted Flakes®, Froot Loops®, Frosted Bite-Size Mini-Wheats®, and Rice Krispies® (all of which you can purchase by hovering over the image above), is encouraging everyone to share their own literacy story between now and October 22, 2017 for a chance to win a $50 Dollar General gift card. 

If you’re interested in sharing your own literacy story, head here, share your story, and you’ll automatically be entered to win.


mixed expressive-receptive language disorder


Our Literacy Story: Reading With Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder


A few years ago, our oldest daughter was diagnosed with developmental Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder (MERLD).

This speech disorder is diagnosed to those who have trouble expressing themselves through spoken word, and simultaneously have difficulty understanding what is being said to them. In other words, learning how to speak can be really, really challenging.

If I had to pinpoint one thing that has helped our girl make real strides in her language, it would be reading—hands down.

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Although we had been reading to her on a regular basis since she was an infant, we made a few changes to the way that we were reading to really help her practice those language skills.

If you’re reading to a child with Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder, make sure you always:

  1. Go slowly. Don’t rush through the book. Take your time and let the child really soak in what she or he is hearing.
  2. Enunciate. Take the time to properly pronounce each word, and try not to jumble all of the words together.
  3. Have fun! Just because you’re going slowly and pronouncing each word correctly doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring. Put some emotion into your reading to keep your little one engaged. Helping your child develop a lifelong love for reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
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A few benefits of regular reading to a child with MERLD are:

  1. Allows child to hear spoken language more clearly
  2. Gives child familiar sentences to start practicing
  3. Creates a safe space for the child to try out novel ideas with content that is already familiar


Over the past two years since being diagnosed, our girl has made great strides with her language thanks to regular reading.

For any parents who have a child with MERLD, consider adding a few extra reading sessions whenever you can. While the benefits may not be apparent right away, over time small changes and improvements will likely present themselves. Keep going; breathing; keep reading. 


You can share your own literacy story here for a chance to win a $50 Dollar General giftcard between now and October 22, 2017. Good luck and happy reading! 🙂

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October 9, 2017
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  • Reply Erica D Ardali

    You’re such a great mom! I love that you are working through your child’s limitations. So many people just accept that things will just be this way. But you are working through them, that’s awesome. I have never heard of this disorder before. Thanks for bringing awareness to it.

    October 9, 2017 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Lindsey Mozgai

    This is so wonderful! I’m so glad you shared this. Think this is a great inspiration for other parents with the same experience.

    October 10, 2017 at 1:39 pm
  • Reply Kirsten

    I am such an advocate of reading as well- I was able to teach ESL students to read, and as I saw them progress throughout the year, it was really all because their parents read with them and helped them practice reading at home. I have never herd of MERLD, but way to be an amazing mom doing all you can to help your daughter have success- thanks for sharing!

    October 10, 2017 at 5:48 pm
  • Reply Mama

    Huh! I wonder if this is what my oldest is struggling with! I will have to talk to his teachers about this at his next ARD coming up.

    October 10, 2017 at 7:12 pm
    • Reply Kaity

      Definitely worth asking both the teachers and your pediatrician! It may not be the same thing, but if it is, you can come up with a game plan with doctors, teachers, and caregivers to give your little one support. 🙂

      October 11, 2017 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply Amanda Rosson

    What a great campaign! Reading is such a wonderful gift that I hope everyone can receive! Thank you for sharing your daughter’s literacy story! <3

    October 11, 2017 at 5:52 am
  • Reply Amber

    I had never heard of this disorder before, so I am glad I read this and found out what it is. It’s great that your family loves to read so much and that reading is helping your daughter. We also read to my daughter (18 months) every day, but I never thought about how the way we read to her may help her language skills.

    October 11, 2017 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply Shelbi

    I have been working on reading to our one year old more! Right now she is more focused on chewing on the books… haha

    October 11, 2017 at 8:20 pm
  • Reply CourtneyLynne

    What an awesome campaign!!! Love that the cause helps kids with reading!!!! My daughter struggles with communication. She loves to read, but struggles with talking, so anything driving awareness to educational needs for kids gets two thumbs up from me

    October 12, 2017 at 12:15 am
  • Reply Summer

    Literacy is so important. This is a fantastic campaign. My daughter struggles with dyslexia and getting her to read is very difficult. I am hoping one day she is able to enjoy reading the way I do.

    October 12, 2017 at 11:33 am
  • Reply Jenny

    This was a really interesting read. I’d never heard of MERLD before. We love books in this house too!

    October 13, 2017 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Sherri

    Wow! This is so great to see! My oldest daughter was also diagnosed with MERLD when she was little! Reading was the most important thing that helped her. In fact, she is now 8 years old and one of the best readers in her class! It’s been a rough couple years but to see her speak and understand so well after all this time is amazing and reading definitely had the biggest impact! 🙂

    December 28, 2017 at 10:56 am
    • Reply Kaity

      That’s so amazing, Sherri!! Reading has made such an impact for our girl, and it’s always nice to hear from other MERLD-families who are further in their parenting journey seeing similar success. *Hugs* to your and your reader. 🙂

      December 29, 2017 at 4:44 am

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