Phoniatrics I pp 619-712 | Cite as

Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis of Developmental Disorders of Speech and Language

  • Tahany AbdelKarim Elsayed
  • Wolfgang Angerstein
  • María Bielsa Corrochano
  • Dirk Deuster
  • Andrea Joe Embacher
  • Uta Hanning
  • Mona Hegazi
  • Christiane Kiese-Himmel
  • Ben A. M. Maassen
  • Barbara Maciejewska
  • Ana Martínez Arellano
  • Peter Matulat
  • Katrin Neumann
  • Thomas Niederstadt
  • Karen Reichmuth
  • Jochen Rosenfeld
  • Rainer Schönweiler
  • Melanie Vauth
  • Adam P. Vogel
  • Dagmar Weise
Part of the European Manual of Medicine book series (EUROMANUAL)


This chapter describes the diagnostic process necessary for the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of developmental disorders of speech and language (DDSL). This process starts with an interview of the parents and addresses the medical history, previous or current treatments, social conditions and family history of the child. Parents’ questionnaires are useful tools to assess the child’s language, sensory, motor, socio-emotional and cognitive developmental status. Central to the diagnostic process is the assessment of the age-related speech-language status of a child. It starts from the evaluation of spontaneous speech via informal assessment methods up to standardized language tests, the use of which is imperative. An algorithm of the diagnostics of DDSL, focusing on specific DDSL (SDDSL) and considering comorbidities, is an essential part of this chapter. Examples of language screenings and tests, and language-covering developmental tests, are outlined for German and English languages.

The chapter provides examination protocols for the articulation of speech sounds and oral-motor, tactile and kinaesthetic skills of children, including objective speech motor analysis, e.g. by articulography and sonography of articulation organs. In order to complement the evaluation of the language-relevant developmental status of a child, neuropaediatric and psychological examinations may be necessary, including the assessment of a child’s cognitive and general developmental status, behaviour, attention, laboratory and clinical neurophysiological examinations, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and radiological examinations, in particular cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computer tomography (CT).


Developmental language disorder Language impairment Diagnosis Differential diagnosis Language test 


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tahany AbdelKarim Elsayed
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Angerstein
    • 2
  • María Bielsa Corrochano
    • 3
  • Dirk Deuster
    • 4
  • Andrea Joe Embacher
    • 4
  • Uta Hanning
    • 5
  • Mona Hegazi
    • 6
  • Christiane Kiese-Himmel
    • 7
  • Ben A. M. Maassen
    • 8
    • 9
  • Barbara Maciejewska
    • 10
  • Ana Martínez Arellano
    • 11
  • Peter Matulat
    • 4
  • Katrin Neumann
    • 12
  • Thomas Niederstadt
    • 13
  • Karen Reichmuth
    • 4
  • Jochen Rosenfeld
    • 14
  • Rainer Schönweiler
    • 15
  • Melanie Vauth
    • 4
  • Adam P. Vogel
    • 16
  • Dagmar Weise
    • 17
  1. 1.Speech-Language Pathology and PsychologySalmiyaKuwait
  2. 2.Phoniatrie und PädaudiologieUniv.-Klinikum DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  3. 3.Clinica Foniatria Y Logopedia BielsaTalavera de la ReinaSpain
  4. 4.Clinic of Phoniatrics and PedaudiologyUniversity Hospital MünsterMünsterGermany
  5. 5.Department of Neuroradiological Diagnostics and InterventionUniversity Hospital HamburgHamburgGermany
  6. 6.ENT DepartmentAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  7. 7.Phoniatrics/Pediatric Audiological PsychologyUniversity Medical Center GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  8. 8.Center for Language and Cognition Groningen and Department of Neurosciences/BCNUniversity Medical Center Groningen, University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  9. 9.Department of Neurosciences/BCNUniversity Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)GroningenThe Netherlands
  10. 10.Department of Phoniatrics and AudiologyPoznan University of Medical SciencesPoznanPoland
  11. 11.Clinica Foniatria Y LogopediaPamplonaSpain
  12. 12.Department of Phoniatrics and Pediatric AudiologyENT Clinic, St. Elisabeth Hospital, University of BochumBochumGermany
  13. 13.Department of Clinical RadiologyUniversity Hospital MünsterMünsterGermany
  14. 14.Abteilung Gehör-, Sprach- u. StimmheilkundeKantonsspital St.GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  15. 15.Department of Phoniatrics and Pediatric AudiologyUniversity Clinic of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus LübeckLübeckGermany
  16. 16.Centre for Neuroscience of SpeechThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  17. 17.Abteilung NeuropädiatrieUniversitätsmedizin GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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