Children with Specific Language Impairment


Approximately five percent of all children are born with the disorder known as specific language impairment (SLI). These children show a significant deficit in spoken language ability with no obvious accompanying condition such as mental retardation, neurological damage, or hearing impairment. Children with Specific Language Impairment covers all aspects of SLI, including its history, possible genetic and neurobiological origins, and clinical and educational practice. The book highlights important research strategies in the quest to find the cause of SLI and to develop methods of prevention and treatment. It also explores how knowledge of SLI may add to our understanding of language organization and development in general.

Leonard does not limit his study to English, but shows how SLI is manifested in speakers of other languages. Although his focus is on children, he also discusses adults who exhibited SLI as children, as well as parents of children with the disorder whose own language abilities became the object of study.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. 1. Introduction
  3. 2. Characterizing the Language Deficit: Basic Concepts
  4. 3. The Language Characteristics of SLI: A Detailed Look at English
  5. 4. SLI across Languages
  6. 5. Evidence from Nonlinguistic Cognitive Tasks
  7. 6. Auditory Processing and Speech Perception
  8. 7. The Genetics and Neurobiology of SLI
  9. 8. The Linguistic and Communicative Environment
  10. 9. Problems of Differential Diagnosis
  11. 10. The Nature and Efficacy of Treatment
  12. 11. SLI as a Deficit in Linguistic Knowledge
  13. 12. SLI as a Limitation in General Processing Capacity
  14. 13. SLI as a Processing Deficit in Specific Mechanisms
  15. 14. Why Study SLI Revisited
  16. References
  17. Name Index
  18. Subject Index