Every child develops at his or her own pace. But if your child doesn’t talk as much as most children of the same age, the problem may be speech delay.
What is a speech and language delay?
A speech and language delay is when a child isn’t developing speech and language at an expected rate for their age. It’s a common developmental problem that affects as many as 10% of preschool children.
What is the difference between a speech delay and a language delay?
A speech delay is when a child can’t produce speech sounds correctly or fluently (stuttering is an example), while a language delay is when a child can’t understand or put words together to communicate their thoughts.
Symptoms of a speech and language delay
Your child may have a speech delay if they aren’t able to do these things:
By the age of 12 to 15 months, a child should be able to say simple words (such as “mama” or “dada”) either clearly or unclearly.
By 18 months, babies can understand basic words (such as “no” or “stop”) .
By the age of three, children should be able to talk in short sentences.
By age four or five they are able to share a simple story
What causes a speech and language delay?
There are a variety of factors that can cause a child’s development to be delayed. The following are some of the most common reasons for speech delay:
There are several other developmental or genetic disorders to consider:
The child has not enough interaction with people. (The kid doesn’t spend enough time talking with adults.)
Being a twin
Autism (a developmental disorder)
The child chooses not to talk)
Cerebral palsy (a movement disorder caused by brain damage)
It’s also possible that living in a multilingual home affects a child’s language development. The child’s brain must work harder to interpret and utilize two languages. As a result, it may take these youngsters longer to begin speaking one or both of the languages they’re studying. It isn’t unusual for a bilingual kid to use only one language at first.
How is a speech and language delay diagnosed?
Your doctor can help you determine whether your child has a speech or language delay. They’ll ask you what you’ve heard and be able to listen to your kid’s speech in order to assess his cognitive development. If your physician suspects that your child may have difficulty hearing, they might refer him/her to a speech-language pathologist.