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Around every eighth child in Germany has language problems
Doctors are diagnosing language development disorders in an increasing number of preschool and school children. Such disorders can severely affect the child's development. Those affected should therefore get help as early as possible.
Every eighth child in Germany has language deficits
According to a projection by the health insurance company Barmer GEK, around every eighth child in Germany has language problems. As the health insurance fund wrote in a message, in 2015 around 715,000 legally insured children between the ages of five and 14 were diagnosed with a language development disorder. In 2011 there were 648,000 children.
Development is affected
The proportion has increased from 9.8 to 12 percent within four years. According to the health insurance company, significantly more boys than girls (274,000) suffered from language deficits in 2015 with 441,000.
“Language disorders can affect and delay a child's development. The later the help comes, the more likely it is that it will not learn to speak properly, ”said Barmer GEK CEO, Prof. Dr. Christoph Straub.
According to Swiss experts, limited language development in children can also trigger severe aggression.
Language development often normalizes in subsequent years
Although many children need speech therapy, Straub warned against automatically treating every child who is allegedly affected. For many of them, language development normalized in the following years.
"Parents should decide together with specialist doctors whether and how a child is treated," said the head of the health insurance fund.
Speech therapies have risen sharply
According to an AOK analysis, the prescription of speech therapies for children has increased by a quarter in the past ten years.
“Especially boys are given therapeutic support in their age-appropriate speech and language development. It is one in four of the six-year-old boys, ”writes the AOK Scientific Institute (WIdO) on the occasion of the publication of the current 2016 Medicinal Products Report.
But "even if speech therapies can help to overcome deficits in the child's environment, behavioral and relationship-preventive measures in kindergartens and schools as well as in the home should not be underestimated in their effect. This enables developmental disorders to be prevented at an early age, ”explained Helmut Schröder, Deputy Managing Director of WidO.
Experts often recommend giving reading aloud more meaning. It strengthens language development and family ties.
Medical and social causes
The Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ) also observes that language deficits are increasing. Hermann Josef Kahl, Federal Press Officer of the BVKJ, explained in a message on the website "kinderaerzte-im-netz.de": "But we have to distinguish between medical and social causes."
Medical reasons are, for example, lisp, jelly or hearing problems.
According to the experts, social causes such as a lack of knowledge of German by children with foreign roots are far more common today. Or parents who did not speak enough with their offspring. “We are usually pushed by parents to send their children to speech therapists. Often, however, we also see parents as first duty here, ”says Kahl. (ad)