- Reduced vocabulary (word knowledge and use).
- Limited sentence structure (ability to put words and word endings together to form sentences based on the rules of grammar and morphology).
- Impairments in discourse (ability to use vocabulary and connect sentences to explain or describe a topic or series of events or have a conversation).
C. Onset of symptoms is in the early developmental period.
D. The difficulties are not attributable to hearing or other sensory impairment, motor dysfunction, or another medical or neurological condition and are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay.”
(American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 42)
As noted in the above diagnostic criteria, individuals begin exhibiting signs of Language Disorder in early childhood. Teachers, school psychologists, audiologists, and speech therapists are often involved in identifying and testing young children for language impairment. The impact of Language Disorder can be one of isolation, where a child becomes extremely uncomfortable communicating with anyone outside of the immediate family. The consequences of such isolation can lead to emotional distress in the form of depression, anxiety, social phobias, or even aggressive behavior and inappropriate explosions of anger. In addition to seeking treatment for the core deficits found in Language Disorder, parents should strongly consider seeking a mental health professional to help with the emotional and psychological problems a child may experience when struggling with Language Disorder.