Language Disorders (Difficulty in Producing and/or Understanding Language and Special Language Disorders)

Language disorders often refer to terms such as late language development, underdeveloped speech or slow speech development and special language difficulties. Language level development has its foundations in many other abilities, so much so that it can be undermined by the weakest deficiency in another segment (for example memory, perception and the like). Developmental language disorders are related to the language acquisition period and acquired language disorders arise once the basics of the mother tongue have been adopted. Developmental language disorders include late language development, meaning that a child’s first word is not produced until about 12 or 18 months, and by the age of 2 a child will have a lexicon of less than 50 words. Specific language difficulties result from unknown causes and relate to children whose language skills and non-verbal abilities are poor in comparison to other children of their age. There are different profiles for children with language difficulties. Discrepancies in languages become more and more apparent with time as they affect mastery of reading and writing. It is possible that linguistic expression is an isolated issue or a weakness in comparison to other abilities - in such instances we refer to these as expressive language difficulties. Children with receptive language disorders display a level of language comprehension that is below the appropriate level for children of such an age. Children with specific language disorders often display the following: a difficulty in adopting new words, delays when constructing double and multiple statements, delay in adopting a phonological system, errors in verb and noun morphology and difficulty with narration etc.

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