Aim
The aim of this study was to investigate public awareness and the attitude of
delayed language development (DLD) in children in Sohag, Upper Egypt.
Patients and methods
The Phoniatric Unit at Sohag University Hospital receives a considerable number of
belated cases of children with DLD. No Egyptian surveys were found collecting
information about public awareness and knowledge of DLD and speech–language
pathology services. A cross-sectional survey was done of both male and female
participants who were asked to fill in a questionnaire. The questionnaire contains
participant’s demographic information, eight closed-ended questions, and one
open-ended question, addressing their knowledge and attitudes toward DLD.
Results
The questionnaire was introduced to 1500 questionnaires (1380 have returned;
92% response). Good awareness of DLD in children was recognized in 74.49% of
the study group. The age of 2 years was thought to be the most suitable age to seek
medical advice for children with DLD in 48.84% of the study group. Some
occupations such as teachers did not value early intervention of language
delay. Language therapy was thought to be the best way to treat DLD in 68.7%
of the study group.
Conclusion
There is limited awareness of the value of early language learning and the best
treatment of DLD. Awareness should be raised and changing the attitude of
individuals in some occupations, especially teachers, toward DLD should be
addressed.