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Children screening positive for language delay at 2.5 years: Language disorder and developmental profiles

Journal article
Authors Ulrika Schachinger-Lorentzon
Björn Kadesjö
Christopher Gillberg
Carmela Miniscalco
Published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Volume 14
Pages 3267-3277
ISSN 1176-6328
Publication year 2018
Published at Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Pages 3267-3277
Language en
Keywords Comorbidity, Language disorder, Neurodevelopmental, Parental questionnaire, Preschool children
Subject categories Neuroscience


© 2018 Schachinger-Lorentzon et al. Purpose: To characterize language disorder and developmental profiles in children who screened positive for language delay but negative for autism at 2.5 years of age. Patients and methods: The first 100 children who screened positive for language delay – but negative for autism – in 2016 were assessed in detail by speech language pathologists. Parents completed a newly developed questionnaire covering eight domains – Motor, Executive functions, Perception, Memory, Language, Learning, Social skills and Child’s behaviour – with impairment scored for each domain. Results: ICD-10 language disorder diagnoses were made in 87/100 children (29 girls, 58 boys). Of 52 children with mixed receptive–expressive language disorder, 32% had problems in other developmental areas according to the “global rating” in the impairment questions of the questionnaire. Of the 35 with expressive language disorder, 21% had problems in other areas according to the impairment questions. Thirteen children had isolated language delay with no other diagnoses according to the speech and language pathologists’ assessment; however, 23% of them had problems according to the parental rating on the impairment questions. Conclusion: Most children screening positive for language delay but negative for autism at age 2.5 years were diagnosed with ICD-10 language disorder diagnoses. Parents in about one in four cases reported impairing problems within other developmental areas. Possible explanations for the findings are discussed.

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