Phoniatrics I pp 713-724 | Cite as

Prevention of Developmental Disorders of Speech and Language

  • Mona Hegazi
  • Katrin Neumann
  • Jochen Rosenfeld
Part of the European Manual of Medicine book series (EUROMANUAL)


Children acquire language inherently from a strong genetic determination. The extent and quality to which they develop language, however, depend on both environmental input—from parent-child interaction, early literacy, a language-stimulating familial and social surrounding—and genome-environment interplay. A language-stimulating environment with sufficient verbal input helps to prevent developmental disorders of speech and language (DDSL) and their adverse social, emotional and educational impact on children’s development. Furthermore, the early identification of risk factors of DDSL and first symptoms is desirable. From the end of the second year of life on, valid and reliable assessment instruments are available, particularly parent questionnaires, which detect children at risk for developing DDSL. For later ages mass screenings or screenings for children at risk, or for those suspected, of having a DDSL are possible. Mass screenings face methodological problems but are possible if they aim to identify DDSL in general, including comorbidities or any developmental language abnormalities. If there is a suspicion of a language abnormality, testing for a hearing loss is recommended. Counselling of parents in cases of a familial history of DDSL, a potentially language-relevant disease of their child or a risk for heritable language-relevant diseases of their offspring, may be useful to prevent or early identify a DDSL.

This chapter outlines the age-dependent options for early identification of both DDSL and general language abnormalities in order to enable intervention and parent counselling at early stages. Furthermore, it describes evidence-based interventions that support child language development, parenting skills and language-stimulating child-parent or child-caregiver interaction.


Developmental language disorder Prevention Identification Screening Stimulation 


  1. Alpert C, Kaiser A (1992) Training parents as milieu language teachers. J Early Interv 16(1):31–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alston E, James-Roberts IS (2005) Home environments of 10-month-old infants selected by the WILSTAAR screen for pre-language difficulties. Int J Lang Commun Disord 40(2):123–136PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (1997) Activities to encourage speech and language development. Accessed 8 Jan 2017
  4. Berwick RC, Friederici AD, Chomsky N et al (2013) Evolution, brain, and the nature of language. Trends Cogn Sci 17(2):89–98PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Brookhouser PE, Hixson PK, Matkin ND (1979) Early childhood language delay: the otolaryngologist’s perspective. Laryngoscope 89(12):1898-1913PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Buschmann A, Jooss B, Rupp A et al (2009) Parent based language intervention for 2-year-old children with specific expressive language delay: a randomised controlled trial. Arch Dis Child 94(2):110–116PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Casby MW (2001) Otitis media and language development: a meta-analysis. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 10(3 Pt 1):65–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chandra M, Jalaludin B, Woolfenden S et al (2016) Screen time of infants in Sydney, Australia: a birth cohort study. BMJ Open 6(10):e012342. Scholar
  9. Chonchaiya W, Pruksananonda C (2008) Television viewing associates with delayed language development. Acta Paediatr 97(7):977–982PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Choudhury N, Benasich AA (2006) A family aggregation study: the influence of family history and other risk factors on language development. J Speech Lang Hear Res 46(2):261–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dale PS, Tosto MG, Hayiou-Thomas ME et al (2015) Why does parental language input style predict child language development? A twin study of gene-environment correlation. J Commun Disord 57:106–117PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. de Langen-Müller U, Kiese-Himmel C, Neumann K et al (2012) Diagnostik von (umschriebenen) Sprachentwicklungsstörungen. [Diagnostics of (specific) developmental disorders of speech and language.] [German]. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am MainCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Felsenfeld S, Broen PA, McGue M (1992) A 28-year follow-up of adults with a history of moderate phonological disorder: linguistic and personality results. J Speech Hear Res 35(5):1114–1125PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Felsenfeld S, Broen PA, McGue M (1994) A 28-year follow-up of adults with a history of moderate phonological disorder: educational and occupational results. J Speech Hear Res 37(6):1341–1353PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Ferguson CJ, Donnellan MB (2014) Is the association between children’s baby video viewing and poor language development robust? A reanalysis of Zimmerman, Christakis, and Meltzoff (2007). Dev Psychol 50(1):129–137PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Fey M (1986) Language intervention with young children. College-Hill, San Diego, CAGoogle Scholar
  17. Girolametto L, Weitzman E (2006) It takes two to talk - the Hanen Program® for parents: early language intervention through caregiver training. In: McCauley R, Fey M (eds) Treatment of language disorders in children. Brookes Publishing, New York, pp 77–103Google Scholar
  18. Hancox RJ, Milne BJ, Poulton R (2004) Association between child and adolescent television viewing and adult health: a longitudinal birth cohort study. Lancet 364(9430):257–262PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Heckman JJ, Stixrud J, Urzua J (2006) The effects of cognitive and noncognitive abilities on labor market: outcomes and social behavior. J Labor Econ 24(3):411–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Heckman JJ (2008) Schools, skills and synapses. Econ Inq 46(3):289–324PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hoff E (2006) How social contexts support and shape language development. Develop Rev 26(1):55–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Institut für Qualität und Wirtschaftlichkeit im Gesundheitswesen (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care IQWiG) (2009) Früherkennungsuntersuchung auf umschriebene Entwicklungsstörungen des Sprechens und der Sprache. Abschlussbericht S06–01. Köln: IQWiG Juni. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  23. Kiese-Himmel C, Rosenfeld J (2012) Analyse aktueller Untersuchungsinstrumente zur Früherkennung von Auffälligkeiten in Sprechen und Sprache in der pädiatrischen Vorsorgeuntersuchung U8 (Evaluation of current assessment tools in early detection of developmental deviations in speech and language in the German Preventive Paediatric Examination U8) (Kindervorsorgeuntersuchung U8) (Preventive Paediatric Examination U8). Georg Thieme, Stuttgart, NYPubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. Klee T (2008) Considerations for appraising diagnostic studies of communication disorders. Evid Based Commun Assess Interv 2(1):34–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Law J, Garrett Z, Nye C (2004) The efficacy of treatment for children with developmental speech and language delay/disorder: a meta-analysis. J Speech Lang Hear Res 47(4):924–943PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. Manolson A (1995) You make the difference in helping your child to learn. Hanen Early Language Programme. Hanen Centre, Toronto, ON, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  27. McCauley R, Fey M (2006) Treatment of language disorders in children. Brookes, Baltimore, MAGoogle Scholar
  28. Navsaria D, Sanders LM (2015) Early literacy promotion in the digital age. Pediatr Clin N Am 62(5):1273–1295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nelson HD, Nygren P, Walker M et al (2006) Screening for speech and language delay in preschool children: evidence synthesis no. 41. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Accessed 13 June 2006
  30. Pepper J, Weitzman E (2004) It Takes Two to Talk: a practical guide for parents of children with language delays, 4th edn. The Hanen Centre, Toronto, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  31. Peterson P (2004) Naturalistic language teaching procedures for children at risk for language delays. Behav Anal Today 5(4):404–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pinker S (2002) The blank slate. Allen Lane, LondonGoogle Scholar
  33. Plante E, Vance R (1994) Selection of preschool language tests: a data-based approach. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch 25(1):15–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Roberts JE, Burchinal MR, Zeisel SA (2002) Otitis media in early childhood in relation to children’s school-age language and academic skills. Pediatrics 110(4):696–706PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. Roberts JE, Rosenfeld RM, Zeisel SA (2004) Otitis media and speech and language. A meta-analysis of prospective studies. Pediatrics 113(3 Pt 1):e238–e248PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Roberts M, Kaiser A (2011) The effectiveness of parent-implemented language intervention: a meta-analysis. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 20(3):180–199PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rosenfeld J, Kiese-Himmel C (2011) Evaluation of current assessment tools in the early detection of language retardation in the German preventive paediatric examinations (Kindervorsorgeuntersuchung U7/U7A). Gesundheitswesen 73(10):668–679PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  38. Rosetti LM (2001) Communication intervention—birth to three, 2nd edn. Singular Thomson Learning, Independence, KYGoogle Scholar
  39. Rowe ML (2012) A longitudinal investigation of the role of quantity and quality of child-directed speech in vocabulary development. Child Develop 83(5):1762–1774PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Ruangdaraganon N, Chuthapisith J, Mo-suwan L et al (2009) Television viewing in Thai infants and toddlers: impacts to language development and parental perceptions. BMC Pediatr 9:34PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schmidt ME, Pempek TA, Kirkorian HL et al (2008) The effects of background television on the toy play behavior of very young children. Child Dev 79(4):1137–1151PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  42. Schönweiler R (2002) Ergebnisse zur Ätiologie kindlicher Spracherwerbsstörungen.[Findings on the etiology of developmental disorders of speech and language in children]. [German]. Hör-Bericht 71Google Scholar
  43. Singer LT, Siegel AC, Lewis B et al (2001) Preschool language outcomes of children with history of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and very low birth weight. J Dev Behav Pediatr 22(1):19–26PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. Snowling MJ, Adams JW, Bishop DVM et al (2001) Educational attainments of school leavers with a preschool history of speech-language impairments. Int J Lang Commun Disord 36(2):173–183PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  45. Tomblin JB, Hardy JC, Hein HA (1991) Predicting poor-communication status in preschool children using risk factors present at birth. J Speech Hear Res 34(5):1096–1105PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. Tomblin JB, Smith E, Zhang X (1997) Epidemiology of specific language impairment: prenatal and perinatal risk factors. J Commun Disord 30(4):325–344PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. Tomopoulos S, Dreyer BP, Berkule S et al (2010) Infant media exposure and toddler development. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 164(12):1105–1111PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. von Suchodoletz W, Kademann S, Tippelt S (2009) Sprachbeurteilung durch Eltern, Kurztest für die U7a (SBE-3-KT). Accessed 24 Jan 2017
  49. von Suchodoletz W, Sachse S (2009) Sprachbeurteilung durch Eltern, Kurztest für die U7 (SBE-2-KT), non-normalized translation in 33 languages. Accessed 24 Jan 2017
  50. Weindrich D, Jennen-Steinmetz C, Laucht M et al (2000) Epidemiology and prognosis of specific disorders of language and scholastic skills. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 9(3):186–194PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  51. Weitzman E, Greenberg J (2010) ABC and beyond: building emergent literacy in early childhood settings. The Hanen Centre, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  52. Weitzman E, Girolametto L, Drake L (2017) Hanen Programs® for parents: parent implemented early language intervention. In: McCauley RJ, Fey ME, Gillam RB (eds) Treatment of language disorders in children, 2nd edn. Paul H. Brookes Publishing, Baltimore, MA, pp 27–56Google Scholar
  53. White-Schwoch T, Davies EC, Thompson EC et al (2015) Auditory-neurophysiological responses to speech during early childhood: effects of background noise. Hear Res 328:34–47PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wittmer DS, Petersen SH (2010) Strategies to encourage language learning, strategies to support language development and learning. Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall. Accessed 8 Jan 2017
  55. Wolery M, Sainato D (1996) General curriculum and intervention strategies. In: Odom SL, McLean ME (eds) Early intervention/early childhood special education: recommended practices. Pro-Ed, Austin, TX, pp 125–158Google Scholar
  56. Wright BA, Lombardino LJ, King WM (1997) Deficits in auditory temporal and spectral resolution in language-impaired children. Nature 387(6629):176–178PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  57. Yoder P, Warren S (2001) Relative treatment effects of two prelinguistic communication interventions on language development in toddlers with language delays vary by maternal characteristics. J Speech Lang Hear Res 44(1):224–237PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  58. Zimmerman FJ, Christakis DA (2005) Children’s television viewing and cognitive outcomes: a longitudinal analysis of national data. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 159(7):619–625PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  59. Zimmerman FJ, Christakis DA, Meltzoff AN (2007) Associations between media viewing and language development in children under age 2 years. J Pediatr 151(4):364–368PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  60. Zimmerman IL, Steiner VG, Pond RE (2011a) PLS-5 preschool language scales, 5th edn. Pearson, San Antonio, TXGoogle Scholar
  61. Zimmerman IL, Steiner VG, Pond RE (2011b) Preschool language scale-5 screening test (PLS-5 Screening Test), 5th edn. Pearson, San Antonio, TXGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mona Hegazi
    • 1
  • Katrin Neumann
    • 2
  • Jochen Rosenfeld
    • 3
  1. 1.ENT DepartmentAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, ENT ClinicSt. Elisabeth Hospital, University of BochumBochumGermany
  3. 3.Abteilung Gehör-, Sprach- u. StimmheilkundeKantonsspital St.GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations