When a child does not acquire speech at the predicted rate, this is referred to as speech delay. It is a developmental issue that affects up to 10% of preschool children.
How Do I Know That My Child Has A Speech Delay?
While each child grows at his or her own speed, if your child does not talk as much as other children his or her age, the problem might be speech delay.
If your child isn’t able to speak basic words like “mama” or “dada” clearly or even unclearly by 12 to 15 months of age; comprehend simple words like “no” or “stop” by 18 months of age; communicate in short phrases by 3 years of age; or narrate a simple tale by 4 to 5 years of age, he or she has a speech delay. Please contact us for assistance.
What Causes Speech Delay?
The most common causes of speech delay are hearing loss, slow development, intellectual disability, psychological deprivation (the child does not spend time talking with adults), being a twin, autism (a developmental disorder), elective mutism (the child simply does not want to talk), cerebral palsy (a movement disorder caused by brain damage), and living in a bilingual home (the child’s brain must work harder to interpret and use two languages).
Living With A Speech Delay Child
Speech delays can be very frustrating for both parents and children. Children who are unable to express their ideas and feelings are more prone to act out and become agitated. They use unusual conduct to attract attention.
We advise you to have your child diagnosed in order to determine the source of his or her speech delay. If the speech delay is caused by a hearing loss, the child may benefit from hearing aids or cochlear implants. Once the child gets access to sound and speech, he or she may be able to acquire language and even catch up in communication with peers.
If the child is able to hear and understand the language you are using, encourage him or her to speak by speaking with him or her as often as possible, and praise their efforts to speak.
How We Help
We can assist you by assessing your child, initiating a therapy management plan, and recommending the issues that require specialised medical attention. Our therapy sessions will teach you how to help your child to talk more and better. They will also teach the child to listen and lip-read.