Professional Practice Technical Challenges


Risk Factors and Early Detection: Difficulties in Communication and Learning Implications

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November 25th 2022 - November 26th 2022
Jaqueline Carmona (Speech and Language Therapist, Linguist, Fluency Specialist)
A growing body of evidence supports that children who presented some difficulties acquiring their mother language do not "outgrow" this setback and that "simple" delays in communications may, in fact, be stable predictors of later learning disabilities. In the first years of life children undergo a great cognitive, linguistic and motor development that gives them maturity, for the development of several abilities. During this development some children go through difficulties in producing sounds, voice and being fluent. Obviously, it is not expected for a child, e.g. three years old, to have the same ability to reproduce sounds, words and phrases or speak with the same fluency of an adult. In order to prevent academic, social and personal consequences, early detection is essential. However, children are not always referred early but when the condition is already persistent. It is known that some of the previously mentioned difficulties may "disappear" in a spontaneous way, though, there is an increasing number of literatures that guide us differentiating and understanding which risk factors may enhance this spontaneous remission or be responsible for chronicity. Therefore, this knowledge is necessary to understand when, why and who we should refer to speech and language therapy.

This course provides health professionals with an overview of language development and its repercussion and learning difficulties, speech development and when there are characteristics compatible with voice and/or stuttering or cluttering disorders. Those are particularly significant because they are the most frequent disorders in children. It addresses the distinction between language differences and disorders, with emphasis on language-based learning disabilities and the distinction between speech differences and disorders, with emphasis on speech sound disorders,
voice pathology, stuttering and cluttering in children.

As a result of the learning experiences in this course, participants will be more competent in their ability to: Identify children at risk for language and speech sound disorders, learning disabilities , voice pathology, stuttering and cluttering and know the main risk factors for spontaneous recovery. But also guide parents what to look for.
Doctors, Nurses, Nutritionists, Psychologists and Technicians of Diagnostic and Therapy with specific interest in this area.
  1. To define and characterize typical and atypical language development and its consequences in learning difficulties
  2. To discuss the red flags and benchmarks related to fluency, decoding and reading comprehension
  3. To acknowledge the definitions and characteristics of voice, speech, and fluency
  4. To discuss the diagnosis of voice, speech and fluency, their comorbidities with other diagnosis and differential diagnosis
  5. To know the main factors for spontaneous recovery
  6. To develop knowledge about epidemiological data
  7. To analyse the rationale for a referral to Speech and Language Therapy
CV with academic background in the mentioned specialties

Preference will be given to paediatricians.