What Is Developmental Aphasia?

Developmental aphasia refers to aphasia that occurs in early childhood, according to About.com. Aphasia is a language disorder that affects expressive or receptive language skills.

Aphasia results from damage to the areas of the brain that control language, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). It affects a person's speaking, writing, reading and listening skills, and also causes swallowing problems. The extent of difficulty in communication depends on the size and location of the damage to the brain.

People with expressive aphasia typically find it hard to use words and sentences. They speak only in single words and short, fragmented phrases. They also tend to put words in the wrong order. Those with receptive aphasia experience difficulty in understanding others. They need more time to comprehend spoken messages and find it quite hard to follow rapid speech. People with global aphasia have problems in both using and understanding words.

The ASHA reports that people with mild aphasia are capable of handling normal conversations in various settings, although they experience problems in understanding long and complex language or finding the right words to express themselves. Those with severe aphasia generally do not understand any words said to them and do not say much.