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Language Disorders

Language disorders represent one of several communication disorders, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Weaknesses in vocabulary comprehension and production, sentence structure, and discourse characterize language disorders. These weaknesses impact written expression, verbal communication, and use of American Sign Language (ASL). To understand the etiology, progression, and interventions, this entry discusses the development, biology, and treatment of language disorders.

The prevalence of language disorders varies as a result of differences in defining a language disorder, methodological issues, and specific populations assessed. Estimates for individuals meeting criteria for a language disorder, in the absence of a medical etiology, range from 5% to 10% of the general population. Although the onset is noted early in development, deficits may not be ...

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