Speech Delays in Toddlers: How to Spot it and What to Do

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At some point, most parents of toddlers fear about their little one’s development. One of the most common worries is a delay in speech.

If your toddler isn’t talking, you may wonder if they’ve a speech delay.

This post will assist you learn how to identify a delay in case your child has one and you’ll additionally uncover steps you can take to help.

What is a Speech Delay?

Speech is about expressing ourselves verbally through language and the way we articulate that language with sounds and words.

We know as parents that every child develops differently, so at what level ought to we be involved about their level of speech?

At round 12 months of age, most children will say their first word. A typical 2 year old can say round 50 words, increasing to 1000 phrases by age 3.

A speech delay means that your child has not reached the developmental milestones on the identical rate as their peers.

Approximately 10% of preschool children have a speech delay, with boys being extra likely to expertise it than girls.

So how do you know in case your child is experiencing a speech delay? Take a glance at these 10 indicators of a speech delay in toddlers.

10 Signs of a Speech Delay

It’s hard for a parent to know if there is actually a problem, or if their toddler is simply taking a little longer to get there. These 10 indicators of a speech delay will assist you decide if you ought to take the subsequent step:

  1. Your child is not utilizing gestures by 12 months (waving goodbye or pointing)
  2. By 18 months, your toddler prefers to make use of gestures over vocalizing their needs
  3. They have difficulty understanding easy verbal requests
  4. Your toddler is eighteen months old and they’ve difficulty imitating sounds
  5. By the time they’re 2 years old, they aren’t able to produce phrases or phrases on their very personal and they can solely imitate actions or speech – they want to be saying at least 25 words
  6. Your child is 2 years old and can’t follow easy instructions
  7. At 2 years old your toddler tends to repeat phrases over and over or makes use of solely sounds to speak their needs
  8. By age 3, your child isn’t saying at least 200 words
  9. You discover that your child has a raspy or nasal sounding voice
  10. They are unable to say phrases that they’ve learned previously

What Causes Speech Delays in Toddlers?

Both bodily impairments in addition to oral-motor issues can trigger speech delays in toddlers.

  • Oral Impairment:  An oral impairment such as issues with their tongue or the roof of their mouth (palette) can trigger delays. Some toddlers have difficulty coordinating their tongue, lips, and jaw muscles to produce sounds.
  • Hearing:  Problems with listening to can additionally have an effect on speech production. A easy listening to test can be useful if you think your child is experiencing a delay in speech.
  • Ear Infections:  Any ear infection, however particularly chronic infections, can have an effect on speech. The concern is that if the infections are in each ears. If it’s solely in a single ear, it shouldn’t have any impact on speech development.
  • Premature Birth:  If your little one was premature, they may expertise a delay in speech and language development.
  • Autism:  Children on the autism spectrum can have a speech delay together with different indicators related to autism spectrum disorder.
  • Neurological Problems:  Muscles wanted for speech can be affected by sure types of neurological disorders such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or a traumatic mind injury.

How Are Speech Delays in Toddlers Treated?

There are many efficient treatments for speech delays. If you really feel your toddler is experiencing a delay, there are issues you are able to do to help.

The first step is to make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician, who can offer an evaluation to assist decide in the event that they want to see a speech language pathologist who will check on their speech and language skills. Based on what they find, they make refer you to see a speech therapist.

If you obtain a referral to see a specialist, don’t worry. Remember that there’s nobody at fault. With a little help, your child will begin to see an improvement. A speech therapist will work with your child to assist them enhance their speech in addition to their language skills.

5 Tips to Help a Speech Delayed Child at Home

As a parent, there are issues you are able to do to assist your child with their speech development:

  1. Kids learn by repetition. Try repeating phrases to your toddler in different methods such as studying a book or singing a song. Encourage your child to mimic sounds and gestures.
  2. Narrate your day. As you undergo your day, talk with your child about what you’re doing. You can additionally level to issues in and outside your home and name them.
  3. Give your child your full consideration when they’re attempting to speak to you and have patience when they’re responding to a question.
  4. Encourage your child to work together with children who’ve good language skills.
  5. Try a speech-therapy app to create a fun, engaging way to assist your child learn to produce sounds, words, and sentences.

Once again, it’s important to recollect that every child develops differently.

However, if you’re nonetheless involved about your child’s speech, otherwise you think they may have an underlying problem that’s affecting your child’s development, don’t be afraid to hunt treatment.

Early intervention can assist keep away from speech delays in toddlers and put them on the proper path for success within the future.