| Erfurt Laboratory for Empirical Research, Erfurt School of Education, Erziehungswissenschaftliche Fakultät, SPF Bildung. Schule. Verhalten., Forschung

University of Erfurt offers open diagnostics for language development disorders

The International Day of Language Development Disorders (DLD awareness day) will take place this year on 14 October. Once again, language development disorders are to be made better known to the general public through various activities. The University of Erfurt is also participating with a programme.

Among others, Dr Svenja Obry, research assistant at the subject area Special and Social Education/Focal Point Language and Communication, invites you to an open diagnosis of a so-called persistent language development disorder on campus in September and October. This offer, which is primarily aimed at young people from the age of 14 and adults from the Erfurt region and Thuringia, is free of charge for participants. They receive a scientifically based diagnosis of their language skills with written findings and subsequently have clarity about whether they suffer from such a language development disorder and whether, for example, speech therapy can be useful on this basis. The "Leipziger Sprach-Instrumentarium Jugend (LSI.J)" is used for the diagnosis. The procedure is standardised and normed. It is carried out via a tablet, contains ten short tasks and takes about one hour. Appointments can be made individually. Interested parties can register for this with Dr Svenja Obry from 29 August.

Language development disorders occur during language acquisition as a consequence of a primary disorder, e.g. a hearing disorder, or as an isolated disorder in the course of language acquisition. Different modalities of speech and language can be affected. Depending on the severity and complexity of language development disorders, it can have a long-term impact on a child's development and persist into adolescence and adulthood. Svenja Obry: "Although the abnormalities are no longer immediately obvious, they can still affect the affected person in their everyday life and their educational success. For example, understanding complex explanations or difficult texts can be difficult. Narratives are less structured and thus more difficult to follow. Difficult words are not understood, or words that are actually known do not come to mind when the person speaks. It is therefore important to draw attention to persistent language development disorders. This way, adolescents and adults can also take advantage of help options, for example in the context of speech therapy."

"The idea that a developmental disorder grows out cannot be scientifically proven", affirms Sandra Neumann, Professor of Inclusive Educational Processes with Impairments of Language and Communication at the University of Erfurt. Since learning at school is strongly based on speech and language, children and young people with a language development disorder often find learning difficult in general. "Often the behaviour of affected children is wrongly interpreted as inattentive or bad behaviour", says Professor Neumann. "The child is then assumed to have general learning difficulties or the cause is sought in the parents." But: Children and adolescents with language development disorders can be helped. Early speech therapy treatment can support the children's language development and mitigate or even prevent massive sequelae. Sandra Neumann emphasises: "On average, two children per school class are affected by language development disorders. Therefore, it is necessary that teachers are informed about the disorder of language development and know where they can get support." In the school sector, for example, trained teachers with special educational expertise in the special focus area of language could promote the children's learning and their social participation.

Sandra Neumann: "Take a close look too! Perhaps a child's anxiety, hyperactivity or learning difficulties in the kindergarten group or in the school class are related to a language development disorder. Because it is important to recognise possible abnormalities at an early stage and to treat them in a targeted manner, parents and professionals should consult experts if necessary."