Language Development

Information about Language Development


There are many kinds of speech and language disorders that can affect children. In this fact sheet, we’ll talk about four major areas in which these impairments occur. These are the areas of:

  • Articulation | speech impairments where the child produces sounds incorrectly (e.g., lisp, difficulty articulating certain sounds, such as “l” or “r”);
  • Fluency | speech impairments where a child’s flow of speech is disrupted by sounds, syllables, and words that are repeated, prolonged, or avoided and where there may be silent blocks or inappropriate inhalation, exhalation, or phonation patterns;
  • Voice | speech impairments where the child’s voice has an abnormal quality to its pitch, resonance, or loudness; and
  • Language | language impairments where the child has problems expressing needs, ideas, or information, and/or in understanding what others say.

These areas are reflected in how “speech or language impairment” is defined by the nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, given below. IDEA is the law that makes early intervention services available to infants and toddlers with disabilities, and special education available to school-aged children with disabilities.

This information was sourced from the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities