Speech delay is a common communication disorder among many children. While children develop on their own timeline, language delay that causes speech, hearing, and cognitive impairments may be a warning sign that your little one hasn’t met their typical speech milestones.
A delay in a child’s speech doesn’t necessarily translate to a language disorder. Instead of second-guessing, observe the signs of speech delay and consult a speech-language pathologist if you’re concerned.
Experienced speech-language pathologists at Gen Physio can help you with your concerns. Below is an outline of language milestones and some warning signs of speech delay.
Speech development milestones
The best way to tell if your child has a speech delay is to watch and see if they are reaching the recommended language milestones based on their age. These milestones were created to serve as a guideline for knowing when most children develop specific language skills and also guide healthcare professionals to determine if a child is meeting the expected milestones or might need some help.
Your child should be able to combine words to form simple phrases and imitate sounds however, if they prefer using gestures or have difficulty imitating sounds, it could be a sign of speech delay.
2 to 3 years of age
At ages 2 and 3, your child should be able to use g, n, t, k, and f sounds. They should be able to ask for items by name and have a word for most objects. A child may have a developmental delay if they cannot use speech sounds or can only imitate speech but cannot construct phrases.
3 to 4 years of age
At this age, a child should be able to answer simple questions like (why? what? who? and where?). Your child should construct complex sentences with more than four words and speak easily without repeating syllables. The inability to express themselves in words could indicate a speech delay.
4 to 5 years of age
Children between the age of 4 and 5 years should be able to tell stories and stay on the topic, communicate easily with others, and use sentences that provide detail. They should also be able to use adult grammar and rhyming words, say most sounds correctly, pay attention to a story, and answer questions. Inability to do these things could be a sign of delay.
Types of speech delay
Speech and language delays can be expressive, receptive, or a blend of both. An expressive language occurs when your child has trouble communicating verbally. A receptive language is when your child can’t understand what others are saying. Possible causes of speech delay are hearing impairments, learning disability, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
How Speech Pathologists at Gen Physio can help
If you discover that your baby has a speech delay, it’s important to consult a specialist for help. The Speech Pathologists at Gen Physio care about your family and can treat your child’s speech problems effectively. Contact us to learn more about our mobile speech therapy service.