Editorial: Surveillance of language development in pre-school children
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Language disorders are among the most frequent developmental disorders and can have a profound impact on academic and vocational development, mental health, and quality of life from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. Since there is increasing evidence for the effectiveness of intervention, particularly if offered timely and in a family-centered way, early identification of significant language delays is crucial in preventive health care. Due to the high variance of language trajectories in the early years, continuous monitoring of language development rather than single-point screening is indicated.
The collection of articles on this research topic that includes mainly empirical research, as well as a systematic review and meta-analysis by So & To, is an innovative contribution to the field of high relevance for clinical practice focusing on the type of administration (proxy vs. direct), language skills or clinical markers, the consideration of environmental factors (including special populations), the concurrent or predictive character of the screenings, and the feasibility of systematic language surveillance in total populations.