Risk factors are understood to encompass “aspects of individual behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, hereditary or congenital characteristics that are associated with a health related condition”. These are conditions that increase the chances of the child presenting speech-language disorders and that can be avoided, controlled, or treated. Risk is defined as the chance of a child exposed to certain factors (environmental or biological) to acquire or develop speech-language disorders. The objectives of the present study were: to identify the risk factors for speech-language disorders in children up to five years of age and to verify the relationship between risk factors and speech-language diagnostic hypotheses. The aspects of being male gender, prematurity, shyness, being an only child or youngest child, presenting deleterious oral habits, having a family history of speech-language disorders, and use of licit or illicit drugs during pregnancy seem to be the factors that should draw the attention of the health professionals in child development. Therefore, the monitoring of children who have these risk factors should be performed in order to promote the necessary stimulation and the construction of healthy environments.
Part of the book: Advances in Speech-language Pathology