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Processing Deficits in Children With Language Impairments

Most children learn their native language with relative ease. During the first years of life, children respond to the communication attempts of individuals in their environment, become sensitive to the word boundaries in spoken language, and begin to connect meaning with verbal forms. Over time, a dynamic language system emerges as a result of a continuous interaction between factors intrinsic and extrinsic to the child. For a small percentage of children, however, language learning does not take place as expected—it may be delayed either in onset or growth compared to other children at similar stages of development. In some cases, there appears to be no explanation for the impairment in language learning.

The affected children have normal hearing, perform in the average range on tests of ...

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