Papers And Originals

Speech Defects in Children Aged 7 Years: A National Study

Br Med J 1973; 1 doi: (Published 03 February 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;1:253
  1. Neville R. Butler,
  2. Catherine Peckham,
  3. Mary Sheridan


    A series of screening procedures applied on a national scale by doctors, teachers, and health visitors showed that between 10% and 13% of British 7-year-old children born in one week in 1958 were reported as having an appreciable degree of speech impairment. Between 1% and 2% had a marked speech defect though hearing normally. This latter group of speech-defective children were more often male and of poor family background, and more were born towards the end of a long family. They were often at a disadvantage educationally and had more clumsiness and defects of vision and visuomotor co-ordination than the rest of the sample. The methods used for screening provided a reliable guide in the selection of children who require further investigation.