2 - Developmental language disorders  pp. 26-55

Developmental language disorders

By Nancy J. Cohen

Chapter Abstract

The term specific language impairment (SLI) is used to refer to problems in the acquisition and use of language. The chapter not only considers language impairment itself but the cognitive, achievement and social-emotional characteristics with which language impairment is associated. It discusses causes of SLI. While there are relatively few studies examining the social and psychiatric outcomes of children with SLI, the evidence that does exist indicates that as adults they are at continuing risk for psychiatric disorder and poor overall social functioning. In addition, the risk for psychiatric disorder increases rather than decreases over time. Nevertheless, one study reporting subjective well being is a reminder that self-perceptions of life quality must be taken into account along with the perceptions of relatives, mental health professionals and researchers. The chapter presents a summary of the clinical implications of SLI.


neurodevelopmental immaturity; cognitive delay; genetic factors; socio-emotional functioning; specific language impairment; psychiatric disorder; mental health professionals;