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What is Landau-Kleffner syndrome?
Landau-Kleffner syndrome is a rare language disorder. It often happens in normally developing children, usually between 5 and 7 years of age, and is characterized by the slow or sudden loss of the ability to use or understand spoken language.
What are the signs of Landau-Kleffner syndrome?
The following are the most common signs of Landau-Kleffner syndrome. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.
Early signs may be referred to as auditory agnosia, which includes the child:
Suddenly having problems understanding what is said
Appearing to have problems with hearing and deafness may be suspected
Appearing to be autistic or developmentally delayed
Spoken language is eventually affected, which may lead to complete loss of the ability to speak.
Some children develop their own method of communicating, like using gestures or signs.
Hearing and intelligence usually are confirmed to be normal in children with Landau-Kleffner syndrome.
The symptoms of Landau-Kleffner syndrome may resemble other conditions or medical problems, like deafness or learning disabilities. Always talk with your health care provider for a diagnosis.
How is Landau-Kleffner syndrome diagnosed?
Landau-Kleffner syndrome is commonly diagnosed using an electroencephalogram (EEG). This is a scan that shows the brain's electrical waves. Other diagnostic tests may be used.
Treatment for Landau-Kleffner syndrome
Specific treatment for Landau-Kleffner syndrome will be decided by your health care provider based on:
Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the disease
Your child's tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include medicine for seizures and language ability. Speech therapy should be started as early as possible. Sign-language instruction may also be suggested.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer:
MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed:
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