All children have trouble learning a language, but when difficulties persist, consider consulting a speech therapist for an expert option. Catching speech problems early on will mean that you give your child the very best opportunity for normal development. Speech problems can be overcome or improved with the ministrations of a speech therapist so your child’s confidence won’t have to suffer.
While babies all develop at their own pace, some warning signs may be the following missed milestones. Consider getting a professional opinion if:
- Your baby doesn’t smile or babble from 7-12 months and by 1 year they aren’t saying any words or responding to words. They don’t use gestures or seem to understand words.
- By 18 months your baby doesn’t know at least 50 words and has not started putting words together in short sentences.
- By 2, your baby is still communicating mostly through sounds and pointing and isn’t using words to express themselves.
- By 2.5 they are not finishing their words and even those who are familiar with them can only understand about half of what they are saying. They speak with an unusual tone e.g. a nasal tone.
- By 3, baby is still only using one or two-word phrases and it’s still difficult to understand what they are saying.
Reticent Language Learners
If your child struggles to speak or understand instructions. If they shy away from speaking with other children and have trouble understanding them, there may be underlying issues.
After the first year, most children have trouble pronouncing words which may lead to sweet anecdotes later in life. However, if these issues persist, you may want to have them checked out. Some common issues include pronouncing words that start with p, b, m, h, w, k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly.
Expressive aphasia will lead children to speak in short, fragmented phrases and say words in the wrong order. Global aphasia will result in the inability to say and understand words.
Apraxia has many symptoms including a difficulty with imitating sounds, slurred speech, slow rate of speech and mumbling.
Each child develops in their own unique way and deciding whether they need help can be very stressful for parents. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, make an appointment with a child speech therapist. Talk to your child’s teachers and tutors to get their opinion as they have a better idea of the normal development of language in children.
Speech therapists are experts at diagnosing problems. They will be able to help your child to overcome speech problems and improve their ability to communicate. Children who are able to express themselves and communicate with others will experience less frustration and a better sense of family and community. As their speech improves, so their confidence will grow.