Developmental language delays and language disorders are a relatively common developmental finding in preschool children. The author reviews current literature; studies indicate a persistence of language delays in a percentage of children.
Developmental language disorders are not uncommon, and they have some long-term impacts on the lives of the individuals.
Clinicians need to rule out disorders such as hearing impairment, mental retardation, autism, and other neurologic disorders that can also lead to language delays.
No clear etiology has been found for developmental language disorders, but there is much interest in finding a gene or genes that affect language development.