Investigating sign language development, delay and disorder in deaf children
One of the most researched areas in deaf children’s development is their acquisition of language. Many studies find difficulties in linguistic and communicative competence in deaf children with hearing parents. It is difficult to know if this is because of delayed exposure, a language learning disorder or both. Indeed, the distinction between delay and disorder is a very difficult one to make and is tied to who is in the research team and what tools are available for assessment. Our studies indicate that the delay/disorder picture is a complex one, with both variation across children and different impairment profiles between deaf and hearing populations.