Speech disorders in students in Belo Horizonte

PURPOSE: To describe speech disorders in students from 1st to 4th grades, and to investigate possible associations between these disorders and stomatognathic system and auditory processing disorders. METHODS: Cross-sectional study with stratified random sample composed of 288 students, calculated based on an universe of 1,189 children enrolled in public schools from the area covered by a health center in Belo Horizonte. The median age was 8.9 years, and 49.7% were male. Assessment used a stomatognathic system protocol adapted from the Myofunctional Evaluation Guidelines, the Phonology task of the ABFW - Child Language Test, and a simplified auditory processing evaluation. Data were statistically analyzed. RESULTS: From the subjects studied, 31.9% had speech disorder. From these, 18% presented phonetic deviation, 9.7% phonological deviation, and 4.2% phonetic and phonological deviation. Linguistic variation was observed in 38.5% of the children. There was a higher proportion of children with phonetic deviation in 1st grade, and a higher proportion of children younger than 8 years old with both phonetic and phonological deviations. Phonetic deviation was associated to stomatognathic system disorder, and phonological deviation was associated to auditory processing disorder. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of speech disorders in 1st to 4th grade students is considered high. Moreover, these disorders are associated to other Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology alterations, which suggest that one disorder may be a consequence of the other, indicating the need for early diagnosis and intervention.

Child health (Public health); Primary health care; Speech disorders; Auditory perceptual disorders; Age factors

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