Learning a language may take some time to some children but it totally varies. Some may be able to speak some words and sounds while others may be needed more time. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), most children can use language easily around 5 years of age. Language and Speech Developmental Delay is when a child is not developing speech and language at an expected rate.
Let us know more about language and speech Developmental Delays in Children. Let’s discuss the signs and symptoms, causes, and what we can do about it.
What Are Language and Speech Delays?
To differentiate the two (Language and Speech), Language delay to a child is when they say words well but they can only put two words together. Speech delay is when a child is able to make words or phrases to express but not able to understand. It is a common developmental disorder that affects as many as 10% of preschool children.
Signs and Symptoms
A child may have language and speech delay if he or she isn’t able to do these things:
- By the age of 12-15 months and a child is not able to say simple words (e.g. Mama/Papa) and is able to communicate by gestures only.
- In 18month of age and a child is not understanding simple words (e.g. No/Stop)
- If a child in 2 years of age can only imitate sounds but cannot produce words or phrases spontaneously.
- A 3year old child cannot make short sentences.
- 4-5years old child should be able to tell a simple story.
Causes of Language and Speech Delays
- Hearing problems can be one factor a child is experiencing Language and Speech delays in children. Kids who have trouble hearing may have trouble saying, imitating understanding, and using language. Hearing infection most especially chronic infections can affect hearing but as long as there’s a normal hearing in one ear, language and speech will develop normally.
- Oral Impairment, there might be a problem with their tongue or palate that’s why they are not able to create or make a sound. Having a short frenulum (the fold beneath the tongue) can limit tongue movement.
- Mental retardation
- Slow development
- Psychosocial deprivation (lack of adequate opportunity for social and intellectual stimulation.).
- Cerebral Palsy
- Elective mutism (is a now-outdated term which was defined as a refusal to speak in almost all social situations (despite normal ability to do so),)
Most children do not need really need to be checked, it may just take some time and attention for them to be able to develop. But if it’s positive that a child is having a problem, it is important to see a speech and language pathologist as soon as possible. The child will undergo a standardized test and the doctor will also look for milestones in speech and language development
A therapist will tell the parents what to do at home to help their kids with speech or language problems. A parent has an important role, they needed to exert more time with their children. There are a few activities that they can practice while at home.
- Communicate – Talk with your kid more often, sing them a song, and encourage them to imitate sounds and gestures.
- Reading – Look for books that I appropriate for your child and read it to them.
- No to baby talk – We would like the children to learn to speak properly, it would be best if we can speak and talk to them with correct words.
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