Language Disorder: What Is It?

Language disorder is a communication disorder characterized by persistent difficulties in the acquisition and use of language. These difficulties can include problems processing a range of different kinds of linguistic information, including vocabulary, sentence structure, and discourse. Language disorder can affect all kinds of linguistic communication: spoken, written, and gesture, and it can affect both a child’s ability to comprehend language and produce it. Children with this disorder do not have problems producing speech sounds. Language disorder is distinct from speech disorder, which involves difficulties in producing speech sounds, but not necessarily difficulties in producing language. Language disorder can affect a child’s ability to function at home, at school and in social situations.