Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Developments in the understanding of language disorders and the progression of clinical practice for children with developmental language disorder (DLD) in Sweden started with a focus on speech, with a gradual widening of focus towards other aspects of language skills – grammar, semantics, comprehension and pragmatics. Alfhild Tamm (1876–1959) was a pioneer in the field, who brought attention to the phenomenon of speech disorder (sw. talrubbning). She was a medical doctor specialised in psychiatry and neurology (Nettelbladt and Samuelsson, 1998). In her special task to assess children in classes for under-achievers in schools in the Stockholm area she noticed that many children with speech difficulties (as well as children with reading and writing difficulties) had non-verbal skills within the normal range (Nettelbladt, 2007; Nettelbladt and Samuelsson, 1998). During the second decade of the twentieth century she started a special clinic for those children and she also wrote a textbook on the topic (Talrubbningar och deras behandling, 1916). Alfhild Tamm’s view on speech disorders as a phenomenon was based in medical science, whereas her view on intervention was based in pedagogy. Although the focus was on speech difficulties, she was also aware of comprehension difficulties and she described agrammatism. Furthermore, she found it relevant to distinguish between general developmental delay and a specific language disorder (Nettelbladt, 2007; Nettelbladt and Samuelsson, 1998). However, it was phoniatrician Gunnar Bjuggren who established modern phoniatric-logopedic care in Sweden by opening a phoniatric clinic at Sabbatsbergs hospital (Lindström, 2008).


External organisations
  • Stockholm University
  • Blekinge County Council
  • Østfold university college
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Otorhinolaryngology
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Children with Developmental Language Disorder
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice across Europe and Beyond
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780429848339
ISBN (Print)9781138317154
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch