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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Developmental dysphasia familial

Other Names for this Disease
  • Developmental language disorder
  • Specific language impairment
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Your Question

My son has been diagnosed with developmental dysphasia.  I want to know more, the prognosis of his speech, the link between this and epilepsy which he also has, anything someone might be able to tell me other than his team of docs.  Thank you! Oh, and the prevalence of this disorder!

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is developmental dysphasia?

Developmental dysphasia is a language disorder that develops in children. The disorder typically involves difficulties speaking and understanding spoken words. The symptoms cannot be attributed to sensorimotor, intellectual deficits, autism spectrum, or other developmental impairments. Likewise it does not occur as the consequence of an evident brain lesion or as a result of the child's social environment. Familial cases of developmental dyphasia have been described. In these families, the condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion.[1]
Last updated: 8/27/2013

Is developmental dysphasia and epilepsy related?

When narrowly defined, developmental dysphasia would not include cases were the cause for the dysphasia is known. In these cases the word "aphasia" rather than "dysphasia" may be chosen, granted however this distinction is often unclear. You may find it helpful to read more about acquired aphasia with convulsive disorder, a condition also known as Landau-Kleffner syndrome. You can find information on this topic on our Web site at the following link:

We encourage you to discus this question further with your child's healthcare provider. They can counsel you regarding the likelihood that your son's seizures played a role in causing his language disorder.
Last updated: 8/27/2013

What is the long term outlook for children with developmental dysphasia?

The severity of the signs and symptoms experienced by children with developmental dysphasia can vary significantly. In some instances, language difficulties persist through adolescence. In addition, children with developmental dysphasia often have difficulty learning to read.[1]
Last updated: 8/27/2013

What is the prevalence of developmental dysphasia?

The actual prevalence of developmental dysphasia is not known. Orphanet, a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs, estimates that the familial form of developmental dysphasia has a prevalence of less than 1 per 1,000,000.[2] 
Last updated: 8/27/2013