Language in young children shows large variation in onset and development between individual children. Children speak their first words between 9 – 18 months (Goorhuis-Brouwer and Schaerlaekens 1994). By the age of 2 most children have at least 50 words of vocabulary and produce 2-3 word combinations (Rescorla 1989). Although most children acquire language without problems, delays or disorders in language development are very common in childhood. Language can either be delayed or disordered or a combination of the two. Delayed or disordered language development implies that the development of language comprehension and/or language production run more slowly and/or deviant as compared to children of the same age (Goorhuis-Brouwer and Schaerlaekens 1994). We will use the terms delay and disorder interchangeably throughout this thesis. Language disorders may appear as difficulties in the receptive, expressive and/or communication domain. A receptive language disorder means that the child has difficulties with understanding spoken language. Children need to understand language before they can use language adequately. In most cases, the child with a receptive language problem also has an expressive language disorder, which means they have trouble using spoken language. An expressive language disorder implies difficulties with verbal and written expression. The child generally has difficulties with spoken language. Their vocabulary (the number of words they know and say) tends to be smaller compared with other children of the same age. Aspects of language are phonology, semantics, syntaxis and pragmatics. Pragmatics refers to the ability of age-appropriate usage of different language functions, such as expression, regulation, representation, control and social function. An example of a pragmatic skill is to be capable of having an adequate conversation which is appropriate in the social context (Rescorla, Hadicke- Wiley et al. 1993).

Additional Metadata
Keywords children, language disorder, screening
Promotor H.J. de Koning (Harry)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
Sponsor Erasmus MC Rotterdam
ISBN 978-94-6169-022-7
Persistent URL
van Agt, H.M.E. (2011, March 16). Language disorders in children: impact and the effect of screening. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from