Language disorder – children

Alternative Names

Developmental aphasia; Developmental dysphasia; Delayed language; Specific developmental language disorder; SLI; Communication disorder – language disorder

Definition of Language disorder – children

Language disorder in children refers to problems with either:

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

For most infants and children, language develops naturally beginning at birth. To develop language, a child must be able to hear, see, understand, and remember. Children must also have the physical ability to form speech.

Symptoms

A child with language disorder may have one or two of the symptoms listed below, or many of the symptoms. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Signs and tests

A medical history may reveal that the child has close relatives who have also had speech and language problems.

Treatment

Speech and language therapy is the best approach to treating this type of language disorder.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome varies based on the cause. Brain injury or other structural problems generally have a poor outcome, in which the child will have long-term problems with language. Other, more reversible causes can be treated effectively.

Review

Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/29/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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