Practitioner review: early developmental language delay: what, if anything, should the clinician do about it?

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1994 May;35(4):613-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1994.tb01210.x.


Early developmental language delay is characterized by slow development of language in preschoolers. The condition is frequent among two- and three-year-olds, causes concern among parents, and generates differences of opinion as to significance among informed professionals. Poorer long-term outcomes are much more likely if language delay persists until the later preschool years, and if the delay is not specific to language and/or includes problems in understanding. Specific language delay in the preschool period is better characterized as a risk factor than a disorder; most children with specific language delay recover to the normal range by five years of age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dyslexia / diagnosis
  • Dyslexia / etiology
  • Dyslexia / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Language Development Disorders / diagnosis
  • Language Development Disorders / etiology
  • Language Development Disorders / therapy*
  • Language Therapy
  • Learning Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology
  • Learning Disabilities / therapy
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team*