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SPEEDY babies: A putative new behavioral syndrome of unbalanced motor-speech development

Authors Haapanen M, Aro T, Isotalo E

Published 5 December 2008 Volume 2008:4(6) Pages 1225—1233


Marja-Leena Haapanen1, Tuomo Aro1, Elina Isotalo2

1Deparment of Otorhinolaryngology, Phoniatric Division, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; 2Department of Neurology, Peijas Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: Even though difficulties in motor development in children with speech and language disorders are widely known, hardly any attention is paid to the association between atypically rapidly occurring unassisted walking and delayed speech development. The four children described here presented with a developmental behavioral triad: 1) atypically speedy motor development, 2) impaired expressive speech, and 3) tongue carriage dysfunction resulting in related misarticulations. Those characteristics might be phenotypically or genetically clustered. These children didn’t have impaired cognition, neurological or mental disease, defective sense organs, craniofacial dysmorphology or susceptibility to upper respiratory infections, particularly recurrent otitis media. Attention should be paid on discordant and unbalanced achievement of developmental milestones. Present children are termed SPEEDY babies, where SPEEDY refers to rapid independent walking, SPEE and DY to dyspractic or dysfunctional speech development and lingual dysfunction resulting in linguoalveolar misarticulations. SPEEDY babies require health care that recognizes and respects their motor skills and supports their needs for motor activities and on the other hand include treatment for impaired speech. The parents may need advice and support with these children.

Keywords: speedy walking, speech disorder, misarticulations

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