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Landau Kleffner Syndrome: language and communication

Children with Landau Kleffner Syndrome (LKS) experience a significant regression in their understanding and use of spoken language. This loss of skills often occurs at the onset of the disease and can be the first sign for families that something is wrong. This information sheet from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) describes how Landau Kleffner Syndrome (LKS) can affect a child’s language skills and outlines recommendations for input and support.

Landau Kleffner syndrome

Landau Kleffner syndrome (LKS) is a rare epilepsy. It occurs in children usually between the ages of three and nine years and is characterised by loss of language skills and silent electrical seizures during sleep. It may be associated with convulsive seizures and additional difficulties with behaviour, social interaction, motor skills and learning. It is not usually life-threatening, but can impact greatly on quality of life unless it responds well to treatment. It occurs in approximately one child in a million. The disease is more common in boys and does not usually run in families.

Abilities and behaviour in Landau Kleffner Syndrome

In addition to language, children with Landau Kleffner Syndrome (LKS) often experience difficulties in other areas of development. These areas can impact on a child’s ability to learn and interact with the world around them, as well as their psychological well-being and self-esteem. This page discusses key areas of difficulty in relation to learning, motor skills and behaviour.