Early Childhood Intervention: Module Two – Special Needs & Conditions

Category — 2.8 Children with Communication Disorders: Pragmatic Difficulties

Children with Pragmatic Difficulties


Pragmatic (see full Glossary) language impairment (PLI) is a difficulty in understanding the pragmatics or the semantics of language, that is, what words mean and how and why they are used.

“Pragmatics” refers to using language appropriately in social situations and “semantics” refers to understanding the meaning of what is being said.

Pragmatic language difficulties are often related to autism and asperger’s disorders1.

Intervention Options

A speech language pathologist makes the diagnosis and plans for the treatment and intervention. Methods of psycholinguistics and pragmatics (see full Glossary) have been used to provide support with this complex language disorder.

To learn about pragmatic disorders in the middle childhood years, please visit the six to 12 part of this course.

1 Bishop, D.V.M. & Leonard, L.B. (2000). Speech and language impairments in children. Causes, characteristics, intervention and outcome. East Sussex, England: Psychology Press LTD.
2 Adams, C. (2001). Clinical diagnostic and intervention studies of children with semantic–pragmatic language disorder. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 36(3), pp.,289-305.

January 22, 2011   No Comments