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Uniform screening for atypical language development in Dutch child health care

PhD ceremony:dr. M.I. (Margot) Bochane
When:June 02, 2021
Supervisors:C.P. (Cees) van der Schans, prof. dr. S.A. (Menno) Reijneveld
Co-supervisor:dr. M.R. Luinge
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
Uniform screening for atypical language development in Dutch child
health care

Identifying language problems in young children

In a class or group of twenty children, - statistically - one child has a developmental language disorder (DLD). For children with DLD it is very difficult to keep up at school. The problems in the language also easily lead to miscommunication, which can cause behavioral problems. The timely recognition of a DLD is of great importance for early treatment. This way you can prevent or reduce problems at school, at home and in the children's leisure time. At the moment, children with DLD are not always identified early.

Problems in language development can be identified early, for example at the age of two by child health workers. Parents, kindergarten teachers and elementary school teachers can also identify problems in children's language development. This requires a language screening instrument that can easily determine whether a child's language is 'at risk' or 'not at risk'. Early identification of language problems is important, however, to this day children are still missed.

In this dissertation I present a new instrument for the identification of problems in the language development of children from one to six years old, the Early Language Scale (ELS). I also describe the development of the milestones in the language development of children, how good the current screening at the age of two at the health care office is and what parents think of this language screening. The ELS appears to detect DLD in young children well and can therefore make an important contribution to the detection of these problems at the primary health care.