Journal article

Specific language impairment: a convenient label for whom?

Sheena Reilly, Bruce Tomblin, James Law, Cristina McKean, Fiona K Mensah, Angela Morgan, Sharon Goldfeld, Jan M Nicholson, Melissa Wake

International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders | WILEY | Published : 2014

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The term 'specific language impairment' (SLI), in use since the 1980s, describes children with language impairment whose cognitive skills are within normal limits where there is no identifiable reason for the language impairment. SLI is determined by applying exclusionary criteria, so that it is defined by what it is not rather than by what it is. The recent decision to not include SLI in DSM-5 provoked much debate and concern from researchers and clinicians. AIMS: To explore how the term 'specific language impairment' emerged, to consider how disorders, including SLI, are generally defined and to explore how societal changes might impact on use the term. METHODS & PROCEDURES: We..

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