Neuro-developmental difficulties are communicative and/or linguistic speech difficulties that arise from disturbed development and/or central nervous system function. Due to time of occurrence, we divide these into pre-natal (occurred already in the womb), perinatal (occurred during birth) and postnatal (occurred after birth). These can be both hereditary and acquired.
If the child is premature, and/or is the result of a risky pregnancy and/or has suffered a brain injury before, during or after birth, there is a risk of communicative and/or linguistic-speech difficulties. Therefore, in such instances it is important to contact a speech therapist as soon as possible in order to initiate the prevention of and the rehabilitation of a child’s communication and linguistic-speech development.
PREMATURELY BORN CHILDREN
A child is deemed premature if born between 22 and 37 weeks and has a body mass of less than 2,500 g. A large number of premature babies have some form of developmental abnormalities, cerebral palsy, cognitive difficulties and learning disabilities.
High-risk pregnancy includes the following factors: if the mother is over than 35 or under 15, obesity, maternal diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart, lung, liver and kidney diseases, severe anaemia, epilepsy, complications during pregnancy and childbirth – bleeding, delayed growth, preeclampsia, eclampsia, placenta praevia, placental abruption, multiple pregnancies, hypotension on the mother, gestational diabetes and the others.
PRE/PERI/POST NATAL BRAIN INJURIES
Pre/peri/post natal brain injuries include hypoxia (a lack of oxygen in the blood supply), anoxia (a complete lack of oxygen in the blood or tissue), ischaemia (reduced or loss of blood supply to tissue) and asphyxia (pathological changes caused by a lack of oxygen in inhaled air).