Aphasia in children

Aphasia in children

Aphasia or dysphagia in children refers to the difficulty of speaking to young children, associated with the syndrome of delayed onset and development of expressive language. Unlike the situation in which the child succeeds with more difficulty articulating words, the most common cases of infantile aphasia involve a marked and accentuated postponement of oral expression.


Normally, receptive language develops according to age when the child is diagnosed with aphasia (dysphagia), but the ability to pronounce is compromised. Therefore, the disorder is characterized by a significant gap between the possibilities of receiving and decoding information and the ability to express in thought the answer.

Causes of aphasia in children

Aphasia or dysphagia is a neurological disorder (the brain is partially affected), the causes of which may be different. If the disease occurs in adults due to trauma or brain infection, in children it may be physiological dysfunction during pregnancy or at birth (difficult and complicated labor, in which the fetus was temporarily deprived of oxygen).

The mother's affections during pregnancy can be the basis of the child's aphasia, if the manifestations of the disease have affected the fetal brain development or the parts of the brain that control the language. Impaired circulation of oxygen and nutrients through the placental blood can cause this type of problem in the growth and development process.

Brain tumors, infections and other diseases that attack the brain cells are other possible, but rare, causes of aphasia in children.

Symptoms of aphasia in children

The first symptoms relevant for aphasia in children are the marked delay in the onset and development of speech (at 3-4 years), accompanied by a very weak impulse to imitate syllables, going up to the fear of formulating words and sentences.

Other specific symptoms are:

  • difficult understanding of the connection between actions / objects and their name;
  • dyslexia (weight of articulation of words) persistence after 5-6 years;
  • not recognizing the sounds and syllables in the word;
  • the difficulty of learning to write and read;
  • reading is perceived as a chore, and the text is heavily deciphered;
  • the difficulty of telling very simple sentences;
  • the sense of language develops late;
  • disagreements at older ages, especially for the female gender;
  • very poor vocabulary;
  • avoiding dialogue in the social and family environment;
  • direct speech is repetitive, dominated by interjections, onomatopoeia, exclamations and very rich gestures;
  • infantile speech contrasts with mature thinking, especially in technical matters (handling electronic devices, for example).

Diagnosis and treatment of aphasia in children

Specialists can make a definite diagnosis of aphasia only after the age of 6-7 years, by carefully observing language skills (speech), mental organization (practical use of abstract notions) and socio-affective ones (relating to others and expressing oneself). emotions).

Children with aphasia (dysphagia) can develop 3 types of behaviors: one very close to normal, one with anxious manifestations or one with neurotic (then psychotic) components.

The treatment for aphasia is speech therapy, adapted to the chronological and mental age and the verbal level at which the child is.

What are your experiences of dysphagia and its effects? Tell us about them in the comments section!

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