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Spoken Language Disorder (SLD) vs. Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

Language involves comprehension (acquisition) and expression (use) across the spoken, written and auditory avenues. The acquisition of object names and function, understanding commands and concepts are necessary for early language development. We use words, phrases and sentences to express feelings, thoughts, indicate a need and to make judgments. A breakdown in the acquisition and use of language is considered a language disorder warranting a need for treatment. SLD often presents with comorbid conditions such as primary medical syndromes (i.e., Down Syndrome, Cri du Chat, Retts Syndrome) or an array of other disorders such as Autism. SLD as a primary diagnosis without a medical condition is considered a SLI or developmental delay (DD). Both require an evaluation and therapeutic intervention with ongoing parent education.

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