Language disorder

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Language disorder
Classification and external resources
Specialty psychiatry
ICD-10 F80
ICD-9-CM 315.3
MeSH D007806

Language disorders or language impairments are disorders that involve the processing of linguistic information. Problems that may be experienced can involve grammar (syntax and/or morphology), semantics (meaning), or other aspects of language. These problems may be receptive (involving impaired language comprehension), expressive (involving language production), or a combination of both. Examples include specific language impairment and aphasia, among others. Language disorders can affect both spoken and written language, and can also affect sign language; typically, all forms of language will be impaired.

Current data indicates that 7% of young children display language disorder,[1][2] with boys being diagnosed twice as much as girls.[3]

Preliminary research on potential risk factors have suggested biological components, such as low-birth weight, prematurity, general birth complications, and male gender, as well as family history and low parental education can increase the chance of developing language disorders.[4]

For children with phonological and expressive language difficulties, there is evidence supporting speech and language therapy. However, the same therapy is shown to be much less effective for receptive language difficulties.[5] These results are consistent with the poorer prognosis for receptive language impairments that are generally accompanied with problems in reading comprehension.[6]

Note that these are distinct from speech disorders, which involve difficulty with the act of speech production, but not with language.

Psychopathology of language[edit]

A special class of language disorders is studied by the psychopathology of language. Its topics of interest range from simple speech error to dream speech and schizophasia.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Beitchman, J., & Brownlie, E. B. (2014). Language disorders in children and adolescents. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe & Huber.
  2. ^ Heim, S., & Benasich, A. A. (2006). Developmental disorders of language. In D. Cicchetti & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology, Vol. 3. Risk, disorder, and adaptation (2nd ed., pp. 268–316). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  3. ^ Pinborough-Zimmerman, J., Satterfield, R., Miller, J., Bilder, D., Hossain, S., & McMahon, W. (2007). Communication disorders: Prevalence and comorbid intellectual disability, autism, and emotional/ behavioral disorders. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 16, 359–367.
  4. ^ Wallace, Ina F.; Berkman, Nancy D.; Watson, Linda R.; Coyne-Beasley, Tamera; Wood, Charles T.; Cullen, Katherine; Lohr, Kathleen N. (2015-08-01). "Screening for Speech and Language Delay in Children 5 Years Old and Younger: A Systematic Review". Pediatrics. 136 (2): e448–e462. doi:10.1542/peds.2014-3889. ISSN 0031-4005. PMID 26152671. 
  5. ^ Law, James; Garrett, Zoe; Nye, Chad (2003-07-21). Speech and language therapy interventions for children with primary speech and language delay or disorder. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd004110. 
  6. ^ Neurodevelopmental Disorders. DSM Library. American Psychiatric Association. 2013-05-22. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.dsm01. ISBN 0890425558.