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Specific Language Impairment 

Specific Language Impairment
Specific Language Impairment

J. Bruce Tomblin

, Karla McGregor

, and Allison Bean

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date: 14 July 2020

Specific language impairment (SLI) is a developmental disorder characterized by limitations in language learning. Children with SLI are less capable than their unaffected same-age peers at understanding or expressing language. Any or all domains of language—syntax, morphology, phonology, semantics, and pragmatics—may be affected and, in any given child, one domain of language may be more severely affected than another. This chapter summarizes the status of research on the nature and etiology of SLI. Because late emergence of language and, in many cases, subsequent limitations in language learning also characterize children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), particular attention is paid to similarities and differences that may exist between SLI and autism with regard to symptoms and etiology. The chapter also examines models of the relationships between ASD and SLI.

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