Four children with early language delays (ELD) were compared to a control group of 12 children with respect to their preschool language abilities from age 2 1/2 to 5 years and their verbal skills at the end of Grade 2. The language-delayed children each initially showed severe and broad impairments in syntactic, phonological, and lexical production. Over time, their deficits became milder and more selective, such that normal or nearly normal speech and language proficiency was exhibited by age 60 months. Nevertheless, when followed up 3 years later, three of the four cases were severely reading disabled. These findings are discussed with respect to prior findings and hypotheses about the sequelae of early language delay and the relationship of language development to reading achievement.