One of the most important questions about children's development involves how knowledge acquisition depends on the effect of language experience. To what extent, and in what ways, is a child's cognitive development influenced by their early experience of, and access to, language? Likewise,what are the effects on development of impaired access to language?This book is the first to confront directly the issue of how possessing an enhanced or impaired access to language influences children's development. Its focus is on learning environments, theory of mind understanding and the process of deriving meaning from conversations. The book features state ofthe art chapters written by leading scholars - psychologists, linguists and educators - who are concerned with bilingualism, deafness, atypical child development, and development in cultures with limited vocabularies in areas such as number concepts. Throughout, it maps out what is known about theinterface between language and cognitive development and the prospects for the future directions in research and applied settingsAccess to Language and Cognitive Development will be of considerable interest to all those who are concerned with the development and welfare of children. It will be of particular interest to researchers and professionals interested in the effects of bilingualism and deafness on young children andin advances in assessment of atypically developing children - for example, those with autism or cerebral palsy who have an impaired access to participation in conversation.