Types of Language Impairments

Children With Developmental Challenges 3(2+1)

Lesson 27 : Language Disorders

Types of Language Impairments

There are five basic areas of language impairments

  1. Phonological disorders are defined as the abnormal organization of the phonological system, or a significant deficit in speech production or perception. A child with a phonological disorder may be described as hard to understand or as not saying the sounds correctly. Apraxia of speech is a specific phonological disorder where the student may want to speak but has difficulty planning what to say and the motor movements to use.

  2. Morphological disorders are defined as difficulties with morphological inflections (inflections on nouns, verbs, and adjectives that signal different kinds of meanings).

  3. Semantic disorders are characterized by poor vocabulary development, inappropriate use of word meanings, and/or inability to comprehend word meanings. These students will demonstrate restrictions in word meanings, difficulty with multiple word meanings, excessive use of nonspecific terms (e.g., thing and stuff), and indefinite references (e.g., that and there).

  4. Syntactic deficits are characterized by difficulty in acquiring the rules that govern word order and others aspects of grammar such as subject-verb agreement. Typically, these students produce shorter and less elaborate sentences with fewer cohesive conjunctions than their peers.

  5. Pragmatic difficulties are characterized as problems in understanding and using language in different social contexts. These students may lack an understanding of the rules for making eye contact, respecting personal space, requesting information, and introducing topics.
Last modified: Friday, 25 May 2012, 1:09 PM