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Occurrence of speech-language disorders in the acute phase following pediatric acquired brain injury : results from the Ghent University Hospital

  • Alighieri, Cassandra
  • De Maere, Katrien
  • Poncelet, Gaby
  • Willekens, Lore
  • Vander Linden, Catharine
  • Oostra, Kristine
  • Van Lierde, Kristiane
  • D'haeseleer, Evelien
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2021.1927185
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Aims: This study investigated the occurrence of speech-language disorders during the acute phase of recovery in children with acquired brain injury (ABI) with an age between 0 and 16 years. Methods: A retrospective chart analysis was performed including 228 children (n = 118 boys, n = 110 girls) who consecutively presented with ABI over a 10-year period (2006-2016) at the children's rehabilitation center at Ghent University Hospital. Descriptive statistical analyses were applied. Results: 71.1% (162/228) of the children who were admitted to the rehabilitation center presented with a speech-language disorder. Within this sample (n = 162), results demonstrated the occurrence of acquired disorders in language (48.9%), speech (35.1%), learning (33.3%), swallowing (21.5%), and early communicative functions (17.4%). The proportion of children presenting with disturbances in early communicative functions differed by ABI cause. More than half (10/18, 58.8%) of the children who presented with ABI following inflammatory processes demonstrated disorders in early communicative functions. Conclusions: Especially in young children who present with inflammatory processes as the ABI cause, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) must be aware of disorders in early speech-language development. The present findings allow the SLP to appropriately plan research, education, and clinical management.

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