Ana Castro, Dina Caetano Alves

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The earliest reference to developmental speech and language disorders in the Portuguese literature is the seminal master’s dissertation of Eileen Sua Kay, from the 1990s, which describes the grammatical features of the discourse of children with a language disorder referred to as Perturbação Específica da Linguagem (PEL) (‘specific language impairment’) (Sua Kay, 1998). PEL is characterized as a difficulty in language acquisition and development, with no apparent cause, i.e. not due to any cognitive, neurological, motor, sensory or emotional disturbance, inadequate and insufficient linguistic input, along the lines of what the international literature refers to as specific language impairment (SLI) (e.g. Bishop, 1992, 1997; Chevrie-Muller and Narbona, 1996; Leonard, 1991, among others). Sua Kay (1998) also reports that up to that point the terms used to label these language difficulties in clinical practice were Afasia de Desenvolvimento and Disfasia (‘developmental aphasia’ and ‘dysphasia’), due to the existence of some common superficial features between this disorder and adult aphasia. The archives of the Centro de Medicina de Reabilitação de Alcoitão, the rehabilitation centre funded in 1966 and the first school for the training of speech and language therapists (SLTs) in Portugal (Guimarães, 2013), employed these two terms in the clinical diagnosis of children from the 1980s (Valido, personal communication, 27 June 2018).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Children with Developmental Language Disorder
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice across Europe and Beyond
EditorsJames Law, Cristina McKean, Carol-Anne Murphy, Elin Thordardottir
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429848339
ISBN (Print)9781138317154
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Language Disorder
  • PEL
  • Perturbação Específica da Linguagem
  • Specific Language Impairment


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