Despite their frequency and clinical relevance, disturbances in the acquirement of language skills are not infrequently overlooked or are recognized too late, in particular when the problem is speech understanding, or when behavioral disturbances predominate. Diagnostic guidelines differentiate between circumscribed articulation disorders and expressive and receptive speech problems. The diagnostic work-up must take account of the changes in symptoms occurring during the course of the child's development. Mental comorbidity may be observed in every second speech-disordered child. For the operationalized establishment of speech performance--also during the course of treatment--greater use should be made of standardized test procedures. In order to early recognize speech acquisition disorders, the regular use of pediatric routine diagnostic should be practiced. With regard to management, direct treatment of the child--especially when very young--should taken second place to training of the parents on language-furthering behavior.