The Causes of Specific Language Impairment

– When a child has a specific language impairment (SLI), parents worry about what may have caused it – did they do something wrong? Professor Dorothy Bishop explains that research proves that SLI is not caused by environmental factors, but by genetics. Unfortunately a test is unlikely to be developed as there are too many variants, and it’s difficult to predict the combination that may cause SLI.

This easy-to-digest video was created for a lay audience, but links to a longer slideshow for more advanced information.

In an excellent blog post, Bishop discusses the challenges she faces as a scientist presenting information to the public, striking a balance between being short and engaging on the one hand, and on the other hand providing enough data to back up her views. This presentation demonstrates a successful formula.

Producer: RALLI Featuring: Dorothy Bishop
Format: Flash Date: 06/07/12
Length: 00:03:17  
Video Link:
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    Last reviewed: 31 Jul 2012

APA Reference
Kiume, S. (2012). What Causes Specific Language Impairment?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 28, 2015, from


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  • David: Thanks for a wonderful article. I’ll be sure to share this info with my clients!
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