What Every Parent Should Know About Language Delays

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Mom and dad playing with their little girls

As your kid grows, please keep in mind that every kid develops at her or his own pace. But it is helpful for all every parent to know about the warning signs for developmental delays in kids. For instance, kids learn to speak at varying times, so how could a parent possibly know if her or his kid has a language delay or is just a late bloomer?

What Exactly is a Language Delay?

Language delay is basically a form of communication disorder. If a child does not meet the milestones for language development for her or his age, there’s a possibility that she or he has a language delay. This means that the child’s language abilities are developing more slowly than other kids.

Your child may have difficulty understanding others or expressing herself, and her delay might involve speech, hearing, and cognitive deficiencies. The delay could be expressive, receptive, or both. Expressive language delay occurs when a child finds communicating verbally difficult, while receptive language delay occurs when a child finds it hard to understand language.

Language Delay Symptoms

The missed milestones and particular symptoms of a child with language delay will be dependent on the exact nature of the delay and age of the child. Generally, however, warning signs typically include the following:

  • No babbling by 15 months
  • No speaking by age two
  • Difficulty talking and forming short sentences by age three
  • Poor articulation or pronunciation
  • Inability to follow directions
  • Struggles with forming a proper sentence

These are the red flags you should watch out for at home. It’s also a good idea to inform your kid’s teachers at the preschool of the after school care in Salt Lake City she goes to if you notice these signs so that they can monitor her more closely.

With that said, language delays could be caused by many things, with some of the most common causes being a hearing impairment, intellectual disability, autism, and psychosocial problems.

Diagnosis of Language Delays

Once you notice any of the signs above, you should consult your doctor or a developmental pediatrician. They can refer you to an SLP or speech-language pathologist if the pediatrician suspects that your child indeed has a language delay.

The SLP will then evaluate the receptive and expressive language of your child, and depending on the results may or may not recommend further testing.

Treating Language Delays

Whole family grilling barbecue

Once your child has gotten a formal diagnosis, treatment will involve speech therapy sessions an SLP. If your doctor finds any underlying health issue, your child will be treated for that as well. It’s vital to note that some kids can catch up and meet language milestones more quickly than others.

And that some kids with language delays may likewise experience behavioral, reading and writing issues due to their language delays. But what you need to keep in mind is that you should begin early intervention and treatment as soon as possible.

This is to avoid the potential development of related emotional, learning, and social problems.

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