Disorders of speech development: diagnostic and treatment aspects

  • P. G. Zorowka


Language acquisition is a complex process relying on the well-tuned interaction of a variety of factors. Its genetic base is still little explored, but perhaps plays the most important role during the early periods of this process. In addition, neurological, cognitive and emotional abilities of the child as well as verbal stimulation from the environment are crucial.

Language development disorders manifest themselves as late onset, slow progression or as erroneous course of the language development. Because of the multitude of factors involved, their aetiology is frequently difficult to determine. Diagnosis of such disorders commonly requires the cooperation of several professionals, like paediatricians, otolaryngologists, psychologists, and speech pathologists.

The “late bloomer” hypothesis suggests, that up to 50% of children presenting with language problems in early years, make up for them without intervention up to age four years. Nevertheless, treatment for a language problem, as soon as it appears, is generally recommended in order to minimize adverse effects on succeeding developmental steps.


Language Development Cleft Palate Language Acquisition Language Impairment Speech Pathologist 
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© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. G. Zorowka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for Hearing, Speech and Voice DisordersMedical University InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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