About this Research Topic
Language and communication delays can be considered as the most prevalent developmental disorder affecting about 10% of the pediatric population (children with speech, language and communication needs: SLCN). Children with language difficulties are at increased risk for social-emotional, behavioral and academic problems and unemployment in adulthood. Evidence of effective interventions, whether parent or pre-school mediated or therapeutic, is growing. The prerequisite for early intervention is timely identification.
Screening for increased risk for pre-clinical disease has been found to be highly efficient in domains such as hearing loss or metabolic disorders. So far, this achievement has not been transferred to the identification of developmental disorders, with a majority undetected before school entry. The reason for this can be largely contributed to the lack of feasible and validated screening and surveillance instruments that can be used within the established health care systems.
The development of tools again is complicated by the high natural variance in language development, high rates of recovery in young children with language delay, the multi-dimensionality and modality of language, time requirements in the pediatric office and child and family related diversity such as multilingualism or poverty.
This Research Topic aims to present and discuss the development of modern tools for the surveillance of language development in pre-school children from infancy to school entry that can be applied in primary care medical settings.
Keywords: language development, screening instrument, language delay, primary care
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