Does your child have a speech delay? Although the experience can be frightening, it’s usually not something to worry about. Every child develops at a different pace. Some develop speech early, while others take some time. That said, if your child is 18 months or older and has a speech delay, there could be a problem and it’s important to take action.
Below, we’ll tell you what you should do if your child’s speech is delayed. But before we do that let’s look at what speech delay is and the signs to look out for.
What is speech and language developmental delay?
If a child has a speech delay, they may try to speak but have a problem creating the right speech sounds and words. On the other hand, a child with language delays can understand and verbally express themselves but cannot construct sentences that make sense.
Delayed language development can either be expressive, receptive or both. Toddlers with receptive language disorder will have trouble understanding language, while those with expressive language delays will have verbal communication problems.
Signs of delayed speech and language development
If your child cannot make cooing sounds by two months, this could be the first sign of delayed speech and language development. Other signs may include:
- Difficulty making short phrases or sentences by the time they are three years old.
- Not talking at all by the age of 24 months.
- Difficulty in pronunciation.
- Leaving words out when making sentences.
- Cannot follow simple directions.
- Reduced vocabulary.
- Mixing up tenses.
What causes speech and language delay
While delayed speech and language can mean your child is a late talker, the problem could also be physical or intellectual. Here are common causes of speech and language delay:
- Hearing Disorder
Children with hearing loss are likely to experience speech and language delays. If they cannot hear it, learning to speak can be troublesome too.
Autism has been known to affect speech and language development in children. However, not all autistic children experience speech and language delays.
- Psychological issues
Psychological issues such as continuous neglect may affect speech and language development.
- Neurological disorders
Neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury can affect speech and language development.
What can you do when your child’s speech development is delayed?
Speech-language therapy is one of the best solutions to alleviate speech and language delay in your child. Therefore, do the following to encourage your child to talk:
- Talk to your child directly.
- Read to your child.
- Sing to your child regularly.
- Ask questions and give time to respond.
However, if you don’t notice any change after doing all this, it would help to schedule an appointment with a speech-language pathologist. The speech pathologist will diagnose your child and recommend a speech therapy plan.
Our speech language pathologists can help
Are you concerned about your kid’s speech and language developmental pace? Early intervention can help rectify the problem and improve your child’s speech and language skills. At Gen Physio, we offer personalised speech-language therapy and can meet your child’s speech development needs. Contact us to book our mobile speech therapy today!