Speech and language disorders of childhood in children of average intelligence

Israel Kolvin

In: Handbook of Psychiatry 1984; 4:145-150

With thanks to Cambridge University Press for their support for this project and for giving permission to reproduce this chapter.

Cite as: 

Israel Kolvin, "Speech and language disorders of childhood in children of average intelligence, pp.145-150, in Gerald F.M. Russell, Lionel Hersov (eds.), Handbook of Psychiatry. Vol 4: The Neuroses and Personality Disorders, (© Cambridge University Press, 1984).


A common question in general practice and paediatrics concerns the long-term consequences of delayed development of speech and language in the early years of life (Fundudis et al., 1979). Formerly, the most frequently held view was that most young children with speech and language problems would eventually develop normally. Recent research reveals that this may be a rather optimistic view - it is more likely to be true of children without major mental and physical handicaps. Two allied clinical questions remain: first, which children will eventually develop normally; second, what is the differential diagnosis in the case of those who do not?

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