Communication disorders in preschool children

Anne O'Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Communication disorders in preschool children present from a wide range of underlying disturbances of development, ranging from those secondary to a sensorineural hearing impairment and autism, through to primary specific speech and language impairments where there is no underlying neurological disorder and the child has normal non-verbal cognitive development. These are high prevalence disorders that can have long term, detrimental effects on wellbeing, activity and participation and yet for which there is both increasing understanding of the underlying aetiologies and an evidence base for intervention. This review discusses the clinical characteristics of the communication findings in preverbal, speech and language skills, the salient features to identify in the paediatric assessment and the direction of investigations informed from recent developments in our understanding of the genetics and the pathophysiology. It concludes with an overview of present effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-453
Number of pages7
JournalPaediatrics and Child Health
Issue number10
Early online date28 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • communication disorders
  • language impairment
  • preschool children
  • primary and secondary speech


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