Developmental language disorder

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By Rita Panoscha MD

Developmental language delays and language disorders are a relatively common developmental finding in preschool children. Rita Panoscha MD, a neurodevelopmental pediatrician at the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center of Oregon Health and Science University, reviews the current literature. There has been much interest in a genetic association with developmental language disorders for some time, especially with the FOXP2 gene and the CNTNAP2 gene on chromosome 7. More information concerning this association is now available from international studies.

Key Points

  • 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.