Handbook of Child Language Disorders

Handbook of Child Language Disorders

Handbook of Child Language Disorders

Handbook of Child Language Disorders


The Handbook of Child Language Disorders provides an in-depth, comprehensive, and state-of-the-art review of current research concerning the nature, assessment, and remediation of language disorders in children. The book includes chapters focusing on specific groups of childhood disorders (SLI, autism, genetic syndromes, dyslexia, hearing impairment); the linguistic, perceptual, genetic, neurobiological, and cognitive bases of these disorders; and the context of language disorders (bilingual, across dialects, and across languages). To examine the nature of deficits, their assessment and remediation across populations, chapters address the main components of language (morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) and related areas (processing, memory, attention, executive function such as reading and writing). Finally, even though there is extensive information regarding research and clinical methods in each chapter, there are individual chapters that focus directly on research methods.

This Handbook is a comprehensive reference source for clinicians and researchers and can be used as a textbook for undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in speech-language pathology, developmental psychology, special education, disabilities studies, neuropsychology and in other fields interested in children's language disorders.


My own interests in developmental processes and what can go awry began in high school with a focus on biology. Although my specific focus changed somewhat through undergraduate and graduate studies, this core interest remained the same. I became interested in language and, ultimately, in the mechanisms of language acquisition and disorders of that process. Although I suspect the authors of the following chapters came to this interest along various paths, we all have arrived at the same destination in our focus on language impairments that affect children. This handbook is intended to bring our interests in these different groups of children together, for the first time, in a single volume.

As has often been noted, the acquisition of language is one of the most remarkable human achievements. It is achieved without effort or direct teaching for the vast majority of children, a remarkable interaction of biology and environment that occurs with seemingly wide individual variation, yet with remarkable consistency. Besides its intimate relationship with human cognition, it is also the thread that binds our social lives.

When language acquisition fails to occur as expected, the impact can be far-reaching. The consequences may be more significant than many other developmental challenges. Impairments in language affect social development, academic performance, and, ultimately, employment and quality of life. Research into the nature, causes, and remediation of children’s language disorders provides important insights into the nature of language acquisition and its underlying bases and leads to innovative clinical approaches to these disorders.

The book is organized in five sections: Typology of Child Language Disorders; Bases of Child Language Disorders; Language Contexts of Child Language Disorders; Deficits, Assessment, and Intervention in Child Language Disorders; and Research Methods in Child Language Disorders. In Typology, we introduce some of the general diagnostic categories of children’s language disorders. In Bases, the authors provide overviews of linguistics, cognitive science, neurobiology, memory and attention, speech perception and production, genetics, and cognitive science. The Language Contexts section considers the implications of language characteristics for children’s language disorders when children acquire more than one language, across languages, and in other dialects. The chapters in Deficits, Assessment, and Intervention examine the deficits in areas such as pragmatics, syntax, semantics, morphosyntax, reading, and writing, as well as in processing speed, attention, and perception. The final section explores the research methods used in the study of production, comprehension, intervention, and neuroscience in children with language disorders.

Determining the most appropriate level for the book was a challenge. We wanted to bring state-of-the-art information in child language disorders together in a single volume for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students in speech language pathology, special education, and neuropsychology as well as for clinicians and active researchers in these disciplines. We believe we have accomplished this balancing act by including . . .

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