Speech Therapy

Speech and Language Delays in Adopted Children

Children who are adopted can sometimes suffer from speech and language delays. It is natural that children learn to speak as they grow. The role played by the child’s family and the environment he/she grows in has got a lot to do with this. The lack of family and proper atmosphere can cause speech and language delays in adopted children.

Why Adopted Children?: Most children are adopted at the ages of three or four, if not less. This is usually the age when most children are into speaking with normal ability and are adept at making themselves clear as to what they want.

But, for adopted children, their first three to four years could have been different to that of a normal child, which would lead to a delay in speech or improper speech. So, adopted parents might experience problems in understanding them.

The Importance of Early Conversations: The first way that a child communicates is by crying. A child garners the attention of a parent by crying after which his/her needs are addressed. As the child grows, the language of either the parent or the caretaker becomes the child’s native language that kicks off the child’s speech.

  • For adopted children, this very important relationship with the parent or caretaker is usually missing which would lead to problems with eye contact, reciprocation and touch that are most essential for the development of a child’s brain and thus, speech.
  • Also, at orphanages and at various other institutions that take care of children, a child’s cry or babbling would definitely not gather the same attention as at home. This would lead to a sense of frustration in the child affecting his/her speech.
  • Also, if the children are adopted from foreign nations, there would be a problem in adjusting to the new foreign language. This can lead to a delay in the language development and also slow down cognitive and academic skills.

Speech and language delays in adopted children are to be intervened as early as possible. providing proper motivation at home along with the help of a speech language pathologist can allow the child to get back on track.

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