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Introduction: The main purpose of this publication is to review the current state of knowledge in the field of delayed speech development and to present data on etiology, clinical symptoms, and indications for therapy.

Materials and methods: Literature data was reviewed from the English-language PubMed and MEDLine computer databases, as well as the Polish Medical Bibliography database. Google Scholar search engine was used. The works were analyzed, with current scientific evidence based on peer-reviewed scientific publications, systematic reviews, and conducted control studies taken into account. In addition, an analysis of our own nearly 10 years of experience in the field of hearing and speech rehabilitation was conducted.

Results: A child with non-harmonious development, regardless of the etiology of the phenomenon, may also exhibit problems with speech acquisition, indicating, among others, a developmental delay in speaking. The correct development of speech depends on 3 types of factors: biological, psychological, and social. Delayed speech development (DSD) is primarily attributed to the person affected, as well as her immediate surroundings. In the case of small children developing harmoniously, the chance of compensating for missing words is one hundred percent. The above phenomenon may be compensated for spontaneously – which takes place in a small number of cases – or thanks to systematic therapy, with the participation of the child’s parents (guardians).

Conclusions: An interdisciplinary approach to DSD is of key importance in the treatment of this disorder, and its multifactorial etiology indicates the need for early comprehensive rehabilitation of hearing and speech. In contrast, clinical practice shows that this problem is often downplayed. The reasons for the appearance of DSD are constantly under investigation, as there are many paths leading to delays in this area. There are also new reports that allow better understanding of the ways of speech development, which directly translates into a change in the attitudes regarding rehabilitation.

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Sujets de la revue:
Medicine, Basic Medical Science, other, Clinical Medicine, Surgery, Public Health