Language development is influenced by a range of genetic and environmental factors which combine in a complex manner. To date, a few genetic variants have been identified. Some directly cause syndromes in which speech and language development are disrupted but most are thought to act as risk factors rather than causal agents. In this talk, I will provide an overview of our current understanding of genetic contributions to language disorders. Using our work with the Robinson Crusoe population as an example, I will show how we can identify contributory genetic variants and how evidence-based interventions can support children affected by these disorders.