An Interprofessional Team Approach to the Differential Diagnosis of Children with Language Disorders

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2018 Feb;65(1):73-90. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2017.08.022.


The ability to communicate effectively with others is central to children's development. Delays or disruptions due to isolated expressive language delay, articulation errors, multiple sound production errors with motor planning deficits, or mixed expressive and receptive language delay, often bring widespread consequences. Physical anomalies, neurologic and genetic disorder, cognitive and intellectual disabilities, and emotional disturbances may affect speech and language development. Communication disorders may be misdiagnosed as intellectual impairment or autism. Interdisciplinary evaluation should include speech and language assessment, physical and neurologic status, cognitive and emotional profile, and family and social history. This article describes assessment and reviews common pediatric communication disorders.

Keywords: Communication disorders; IPP model; Interdisciplinary diagnostic process; Interprofessional practice model.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Audiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Language Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Language Disorders / etiology
  • Language Disorders / psychology
  • Language Tests
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Physical Therapy Specialty
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Speech-Language Pathology*