Volume 18, Issue 4 (1989)
Developmental Language Disorders in Preschool Children: Clinical Subtypes and Syndromes
Doris A. Allen
In the past decade, there has been an increasing interest, in the phenomenology of developmental language disorders(DLD) in the preschool population. There are a number of overlapping reasons for this interest. First, the field of developmental psycholinguistics, which blossomed in the mid-l 97Os, has provided documentation of the process of language acquisition in normally-developing young children. In addition, in many communities across the country, children are entering nursery schools and daycare programs at increasingly younger ages. Under the scrutiny of educators and psychologists, children with inadequate language development are being identified earlier. Public law mandating special services for developmentally disordered children from birth has resulted in more readily available preschool special-education programs.Finally, there is a growing awareness that what was formerly characterized as language “delay” in early childhood is frequently a harbinger of deficits which,in turn, may be precursors of learning disabilities (cf. Aram & HaII, this volume)or psychological disturbances in the school-age years (Allen, Mendelson, & Rapin, 1989; Baker & Cantwell, 1982a, 1982b; Cantwell & Baker, 1977; Howlin & Rutter, 1987; Paul & Cohen, 1984; Rutter & Lord, 1987).
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