Children with Specific Language Impairment, Second Edition

From Language, Speech, and Communication

Children with Specific Language Impairment, Second Edition

By Laurence B. Leonard

The landmark reference in the field, completely updated: a comprehensive treatment of a disorder that is more prevalent than autism.

Bradford Books





The landmark reference in the field, completely updated: a comprehensive treatment of a disorder that is more prevalent than autism.

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) show a significant deficit in spoken language that cannot be attributed to neurological damage, hearing impairment, or intellectual disability. More prevalent than autism and at least as prevalent as dyslexia, SLI affects approximately seven percent of all children; it is longstanding, with adverse effects on academic, social, and (eventually) economic standing. The first edition of this work established Children with Specific Language Impairment as the landmark reference on this condition, considering not only the disorder's history, possible origins, and treatment but also what SLI might tell us about language organization and development in general. This second edition offers a complete update of the earlier volume.

Much of the second edition is completely new, reflecting findings and interpretations based on the hundreds of studies that have appeared since the publication of the first edition in 1997. Topics include linguistic details (descriptive and theoretical), word and sentence processing findings, genetics, neurobiology, treatment, and comparisons to such conditions as autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and dyslexia. The book covers SLI in children who speak a wide range of languages, and, although the emphasis is on children, it also includes studies of adults who were diagnosed with SLI as children or are the parents of children with SLI.

Written by a leading scholar in the field, Children with Specific Language Impairment offers the most comprehensive, balanced, and unified treatment of SLI available.

Bradford Books imprint


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262027069 490 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 32 b&w illus.


$60.00 X ISBN: 9780262535403 490 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 32 b&w illus.


  • The first edition of this book has long been the classic reference on SLI, and this comprehensively updated edition offers a feast of information on all aspects of this condition, ranging from causes to intervention. A particular treat is Leonard's coverage of crosslinguistic studies, which demonstrates just how far we have come in extending our knowledge of SLI beyond English.

    Dorothy Bishop

    Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, University of Oxford, UK; author of Uncommon Understanding

  • Almost 15 years have passed since the first edition of this classic text was published. Now, Leonard, the most prolific scientist studying SLI, has done it again: he's written an accessible and comprehensive summary of all that is known about this intriguing neurodevelopmental disorder. This book is a must-read for everyone studying language development, conducting research on language disorders, or providing clinical evaluations and treatment for children with SLI. It includes everything you will want to know from the history to the biology; from theory to practice; from linguistic theory to language environments; all presented in a balanced and lucid style that will engage all readers, including students, researchers, clinicians, and interested parents. The book is a remarkable achievement that will, like the first edition, become an instant classic.

    Helen Tager-Flusberg

    Professor, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Boston University

  • This book will be a welcome update in many fields, but in speech-language pathology, it is a tremendous gift for both scholars and clinicians. The degree of clarity and the level of authoritativeness Leonard brings to his coverage of difficult concepts and nuanced arguments are impressive. Children with Specific Language Impairment will be the standard reference work dealing with all types of developmental language disorders for the next decade or until the third edition graces our shelves.

    Marc E. Fey

    Professor of Hearing and Speech, University of Kansas Medical Center

  • This second edition of Children with Specific Language Impairment continues its predecessor's tradition of providing researchers and clinicians with both a broad and deep integration of the literature on specific language impairment. In doing so, it weaves the latest research with the prior literature to form a lucid and balanced story about these children who find language development challenging.

    J. Bruce Tomblin

    DC Spriestersbach Distinguished Professor and Director of the Child Language Research Center, University of Iowa