L Acquired Aphasia in Children

Use of the term aphasia has unfortunately been applied to children who have not yet developed age-appropriate language skills. The term developmental aphasia is often used for this population and is more appropriate.

Acquired aphasia in children differs from that in adults in several important ways. When aphasia is acquired in childhood, the child's stage ofboth central nervous system development and language development at the time of brain damage must be considered. In adults an assumption is made that language was fully developed at the time of disruption, whereas in children a determination must be made as to which of the observed deficits represent aphasia and which represent aspects of language that have not yet emerged.

Children with acquired aphasia generally recover more rapidly and completely than adults. However, there is no single correlation between age at lesion onset and outcome. Furthermore, long-term studies suggest that residual and long-standing linguistic symptoms appear to be present in many children who have acquired aphasia.

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