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Developmental aphasia; Developmental dysphasia; Delayed language; Specific developmental language disorder; SLI; Communication disorder - language disorder
Speech and language therapy is the best approach to treating this type of language disorder.
Psychological therapy (psychotherapy, counseling, or cognitive behavioral therapy) is also recommended because of the possibility of related emotional or behavioral problems.
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.
Many children who have language problems during the preschool years will also have some language problems or learning difficulty later in childhood. They may also have reading disorders.
Difficulty understanding and using language can cause problems with social interaction and the ability to function independently as an adult.
Reading may be a problem.
Depression, anxiety, and other emotional or behavioral problems may complicate language disorders.
Parents who are concerned that their child's speech or language is delayed should see their primary care provider. Ask about getting a referral to a speech and language therapist.
Children who are diagnosed with this condition may need to be seen by a neurologist or children's developmental specialist to determine if the cause can be treated.
Call your child's health care provider if you see the following signs that your child does not understand language well:
Also call if you notice these signs that your child does not use or express language well:
Lyon GR, Shaywitz SE, Shaywitz BA. Specific language and learning disabilities. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 32.
Sharp HM, Hillenbrand K. Speech and language development and disorders in children. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2008;55:1159-1173.
Simms MD. Language disorders in children: classification and clinical syndromes. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2007;54:437-467.
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