Sunday, April 9, 2023

What are the causes of speech delay in children?

Speech disorders:

Speech delay is one of the most common developmental problems in children. Although about 15% of two-year-olds are delayed, by the age of four, 70% will have met it. However, it is important to remain attentive to help your child with his learning, and to spot the most significant disorders.

The difference between delay and poor speech:

Speech delay is a shift from the normal developmental curve of a child between 2 and 5 years old. We talk about language delay when a child has difficulty learning new words or even forming complete sentences that are appropriate for his age. However, it is important to remember that the so-called “normal” curve can It varies from child to child, gender and background.

Speech disorder is a delay that persists in children after the age of 5. This disorder can present in different ways, articulation difficulties that prevent the correct pronunciation of certain sounds, or dysarthria that results in difficulties in understanding language or even stuttering.

When should we worry and what are the signs?

A child between the ages of 18 months and 3 years who does not express himself well is always perfectly normal as he is learning. However, it is important to listen for some of the signs that your child may need professional help. This list is not exhaustive, but it can guide you in your analysis.

From birth to 12 months:

By paying attention to his reactions to the environment, it is possible to detect certain signs when your child is just a baby. Consider seeing a doctor if your child:
  • It does not interact with surrounding noise.
  • He doesn't smile or grin a little.
  • He doesn't like to be hugged.

From 12 to 24 months:

During this period, the child wakes up to the language and pronounces his first words. The vocabulary of about 18 months is about 50 words:
  • Doesn't make a variety of sounds.
  • He does not recognize his own name and does not say "dad" or "mom".
  • Does not understand simple routine instructions.
  • He does not try to repeat what he hears.
  • Pays close attention to a particular sound or game, regardless of others.

From two to two and a half years:

By this age, your child should be able to say between 50 and 100 words. In addition, he must say new words every day:
  • He says few clear words.
  • Only understands routine words like shower, sleep.
  • Does not imitate animal sounds.

From 2 and a half to 3 years:

Around this age, children become aware of language development:
  • He does not understand the questions that he should choose. For example, do you want to go to the park or play at home.
  • Does not understand the question "What is this?".
  • Does not understand simple everyday instructions.
  • Doesn't try to associate words with pictures or things around him.

From 3 to 4 years:

By the age of three, your child should be organizing his sentences better and better:
  • He didn't seem to understand simple questions.
  • Doesn't understand basic concepts like "up/down" or "small/big".
  • He rarely says 3-word sentences.
  • Repeat the question asked instead of answering it.

4 to 5 years:

By the age of four your child understands almost everything that is said to him and follows directions that involve more than one action and is able to engage in long conversations:
  • Has difficulty naming and recognizing colours.
  • They find it difficult to answer open-ended questions that prompt them to develop an answer.
  • He has difficulty carrying on a conversation.
  • Has difficulty understanding spatial prepositions such as 'up/down'.

How to help your child learn his language:

  • Speak slowly so that he can understand all the words in your sentences.
  • When correcting your child, slowly rephrase the syllable, emphasizing a difficult word.
  • Put him in regular contact with other children his age.
  • Name and describe the things he points to.

Finally, if you are concerned about your child's language development, don't hesitate to consult your pediatrician or speech therapist. Both will help your child overcome these challenges so he can thrive.