Early Signs of Speech Delays
When a newborn baby manages to sleep peacefully through the night, the next major thing parents await anxiously for is the utterance of their child’s first words. The art of communication comprises of several components, especially speech and language. According to speech-language pathologist, who specializes in working with individuals who have communication disorders, often represent speech as articulation. Read onto know more about the early signs of speech delays in children.
On the other hand, language represents a child’s ability to utilise words into constructing sentences. Also, it refers to his or her ability to use words while conversing. Speech and language skills start to develop as early as the child’s birth. This continues to develop into adolescence. If there are any problems with the speech and language development, then you should immediately seek the help of a speech-language specialist. Here are a few signs and symptoms of speech delays which help you to identify a speech problem.
Causes of Speech Delays
There are three main causes of speech delays observed in children. These include:
- The child suffers from a hearing problem. This means that he or she has trouble with speech input.
- Because of development disorder or mental retardation, the affected child faces difficulty in working and assessing what is heard. Also, he or she may have difficulty while processing speech.
- The affected child can actually suffer from problems with speech output. This means that the affected child cannot speak at all.
Early Signs of Speech Delays
Here are the early signs of speech delays which can affect a child at different age levels. These include:
Between 12-24 Months
When the newborn does not vocalize in any manner or react to sounds between 12-24 months, it is quite possible that the child has some speech and language developmental problem. The early signs of speech delays for this age group are if the child by 12 months does not use any gesture, like waving bye bye or pointing to objects. If the child by 18 months uses gestures instead of vocalizations when you speak, then these warning signs imply speech delays. Hence, these signs help you to identify any speech disorder.
Between 2-3 Years
If a 2 years old child or over is only able to imitate actions or speech and fails to produce phrases or words spontaneously and quickly, then you should immediately seek professional help. Also, when the child fails to follow simple directions or uses unique tone which can be nasal or easy, there is a need to check with a specialist. Apart from these, when a child uses specific words or sounds repeatedly, it is a warning and early sign of speech delay in kids.
Between 3-4 Years
By the time a child turns 3 years old, he or she develops nearly three quarters of his or her speech. Also, by the age of 4, the parent can easily understand what the child says. Even strangers can understand what they say and their clarity of speech. Also, the child should start to identify and recognize colours and understand descriptive concepts. If any of the above-mentioned points are missing, then one must immediately seek professional help.
The most suitable time to seek professional help is when the child is around two or two and a half years old. By this time, even the late bloomers or late talkers usually begin to catch up with their peers. Speech delay problems and language problems can be intervened with the professional help of speech-language therapist. Also, these problems can be addressed by treating undiagnosed hearing problems or ear infections. Hence, take care of all these early signs of speech delay at the different age levels and act accordingly.