Speech Therapy

Speech Delay in Children

Nearly 5-10 % of children are afflicted with a developmental disability which causes a delay in their language and speech development. One should be aware of the fact that language development includes more than speech. It involves various forms of communication like visual skills, writing and sign language. Speech delay in children is a common problem which usually goes away as they grow up. Most frequently, parents are the first one to notice if their child is unable to develop language skills like the other children his/her age. Also, they tend to describe their child as ‘not talking yet’, ‘a late talker’ or ‘not talking’. Read on to know more about speech delay in children.

Speech Delay in Children – An Overview

Speech delay in children is a common occurrence. But if the condition prolongs, then you should immediately consult a speech-language pathologist. A delayed speech can happen due to problems with:

  • Speech processing (developmental language disorders and mental retardation)
  • Speech input (hearing loss)
  • Speech output (anatomical problems in the child’s vocal cords)

 There are two types of delayed speech, which include:

  1. Receptive delays – failure to understand or decode the speech of others
  2. Expressive delays – failure to generate speech

Most children who have a delayed speech usually have some developmental language disorders (DLD) along with an expressive delay. They mostly have normal visual language skills (following commands, responding to facial expressions, recognizing objects, recognizing parents) and normal understanding or comprehension of other’s speech. Also, they usually have normal auditory receptive skills which may include pointing to named objects and body parts, recognizing different sounds, etc. However, a few children can have a variable or mild receptive delay. If their condition is diagnosed early and corrected with speech therapy, then speech delay in children can be improved slowly and steadily till they have a fluent speech.

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