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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews what we understand about sign language developmental disorders. As with the study of language impairment in hearing children, much of the devil is in the detail. Establishing a research methodology that can reliably separate out effects of natural variation, delay, and disorder is all about who is in the research team and what tools are available for assessment. Notwithstanding these challenges, it is important that a deaf child’s language assessment can pinpoint what aspects of language need to be addressed so that any intervention is evidence based. Our studies indicate that the picture is a complex one, with both variation across children and differences between language disorder in the deaf and hearing populations.

Keywords: deafness, sign language, language disorder, specific language impairment, assessment

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