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Language disorders (diagnosis and treatment of language disorders in children)


Language disorders refer to disorders in the use and understanding of language for communication, and reflect disorders in speech development in comparison with other areas of development, for example, cognition, social interaction and motor functions. Delayed speech development refers to children who go through the normal stages of speech development, but develop more slowly than other children. This is due to a delay in general development and can be combined with mental retardation or developmental disorders. In addition, language disorders can also be observed in children growing up in the absence of language stimulation. Speech development disorder is the most common developmental disorder in childhood and occurs in about 5-10% of preschool-age children and 3-5% of school-age children.

Language disorders in children can be divided into simple language disorders and speech fluency disorders. Simple language disorders are language disorders that cause a delay in the development of communication skills by children who do not have hearing loss or neurological defects, who have normal or higher than usual intellectual abilities and do not have emotional disorders. Impaired fluency of speech refers to what we usually call stuttering.

Delayed speech development can be caused by organic factors, such as the environment, dementia, general developmental disorders, hearing impairment, learning disabilities, brain disorders, emotional disorders and autism. Diseases that can interfere with communication, with the exception of delayed speech development, include dementia, autism, hearing impairment, facial and oral paralysis, cerebral palsy.


Children with language disorders often have difficulty communicating.


The diagnosis of language disorders is carried out by means of a criterion assessment, description and analysis of language abilities. Assessments based on criteria include screening tests for the development of speech in children and testing the ability to solve language problems. The description and analysis of language abilities presuppose the determination of the language characteristics that the child demonstrates, with their subsequent professional assessment in comparison with other children to identify changes in the child’s speech development.

Treatment and course of the disease

In cases where only language disorders are observed, short-term goals are determined, taking into account the level of language development and communication abilities of the child. Long-term goals, in turn, are set taking into account the availability of family support, economic conditions and other factors. During this period, it is also necessary to assess the stage of the child’s speech development and identify the presence of other language problems.

In the case of children who, in addition to language disorders, have concomitant disorders such as mental retardation, hearing impairment or autism, a comprehensive approach is required, taking into account different aspects and points of view.

The degree of speech development in the patient is important when planning the treatment of speech development delay. For preschool children, the most effective approach is individual treatment. If the level of impaired speech development in a child is weak, then the emphasis is on speech therapy treatment of the child. However, if a child has a severe disorder or concomitant abnormalities, then the course of treatment can be determined and conducted under the guidance of a therapist.

The language environment, in particular, the influence of parents, plays an important role in the development of speech. Parents can promote the development of their children’s speech by actively participating in the process of speech therapy. Thus, parents can be considered as additional speech therapists for children with speech development disorders.

In addition, the main purpose of using language is communication in society. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure appropriate training of personnel so that children with disabilities can participate as much as possible in public life in educational institutions, as well as to ensure the stable effectiveness of speech therapy. In addition, group speech therapy can significantly contribute to the development of natural speech skills in children.

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