Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Image Credit: Pexels, Free to Use License
Learning to communicate is an important part of a child’s development but it doesn’t always come as naturally as we hope, with 5% of US children aged between 3 and 17 having been diagnosed with a speech disorder and 3.3% diagnosed as suffering from a language disorder. Although speech and language disorders are different they do also often intersect, so here are 5 things to watch out for to help you decide whether your child could benefit from some additional help in the form of speech therapy for a possible speech or language disorder. 

1. They do not gesture 

Gesturing is often one of the first forms of communication that a new baby will use. They may point to the bottle when they are thirsty or make a grasping gesture towards a toy they want. If you don’t notice your child gesturing between the ages of 7-12 months by pointing, waving or using their hands to indicate they want something then this could be a sign of a language disorder. 

2. They do not make baby babbling noises

As babies begin to find their voice, they usually begin to experiment with sounds and start to babble somewhere from age 4-7 months. Babbling often sounds like baby language and is incoherent but necessary as they begin to learn how to make sounds.  If you feel that your baby is unusually quiet and isn’t experimenting with noises from their mouths then this too could be a sign of a speech or language disorder.  

3. They have trouble ennunciating certain sounds

It’s perfectly normal for children to mispronounce certain sounds when they first begin to speak, but this usually sorts itself out by the age of 2. However, children with speech impediments often struggle with pronouncing sounds such as p, b, m, h or w for much longer and their speech may be unclear and difficult to understand. If your child is approaching 3 years old and is still struggling with pronouncing the letters of the alphabet then this too could be an indication of a speech impediment and they could benefit from speech therapy

4. They do not understand verbal requests

Children between the ages of 1 - 2 years should be able to understand simple spoken requests such as, “please don’t touch that” or “come here please”. If your child appears to not understand your requests and isn’t simply ignoring you, then this could also suggest a language disorder as they are struggling to understand what you are asking of them. 

5. Your child is not speaking in sentences 

Although in the early stages of your child’s speech development they will often stick to single words or short phrases such as ‘milk’ ‘hungry’ and ‘no’, by the age of 1.5 to 2 years they should be beginning to create longer more complex sentences. Such as “I want to go to the park” rather than simply saying the word “park”. An inability to put together a longer coherent sentence can also indicate a language or speech disorder which can be diagnosed and helped by a speech or language therapist.


Post a Comment

Feel free to share your thoughts. However, kindly refrain from adding links in your comments because they will be marked as spam and filtered out. Thank you!