Child Health

Speech Delay in Children

Milestones of child development during the first three years:
Babies develop at different rates. Here are the general milestones:
At the age of one year:
  • Searches for the source of the sound and can find it.
  • He responds when called by his name most of the time.
  • waving his hands when saying goodbye.
  • Look at what you are referring to (ex: look at the game).
  • ​Speech with intonation (the voice rises and falls as if speaking in sentences).
  • Take turns speaking (eg: listening and paying attention when speaking, then speaking when the speaker stops).
  • He pronounces the word Mama or Papa to his parents.
  • Say at least one word.
  • Pointing to toys or things he wants that are far away from him or making sounds while pointing.
We can help baby at this age by:
  • Checking if the child can hear and noticing if he is paying attention to the noise or looking at the person he is talking to.
  • Responding to the child and looking at him when he makes sounds, and talking to him by imitating the sounds he makes.
  • Teaching the child to imitate actions (eg: clapping, waving goodbye).
  • Talking about the things he does during the day.
  • Talking about where he's going, what he's going to do there, who and what he's going to see say things (ex: we're going to grandma's house)
  • Teaching him animal sounds.
  • Reading to the child every day.
1-2 years of age, child can:
    • Follow simple commands or when indicated.
    • Bring things from another room when asked.
    • Point to a few parts of the body when asked to do so.
    • Point to interesting things or events to make his parents pay attention to them.
    • Bring pictures or toys and share them with his parents.
    • Point to things for parents to name.
    • name some common things and pictures when asked to do so.
    • Enjoy pretending (ex: pretending to cook). Use gestures and words with his or her parents or a favorite stuffed animal or doll.
    • Learn one new word per week.
How can help him to develop at this age:
  • Talk to the child while doing things and going to different places (ex: when walking, pointing to what you see and naming it “This is a white car”).
  • Use short words and sentences that the child can imitate, and make sure to pronounce the words correctly.
  • Talk about the sounds he hears at home (eg: listening to the ticking of the clock).
  • Add to the words the child says (ex: if he says "car" you can say, "You're right, that's a big white car")
  • Read to the child every day and try to find books with big pictures and a few words on each page and talk about the pictures on each page.
  • Have the child point to the pictures that are named.
  • Ask the child to name the pictures, he may not answer at first just name the pictures for him and one day, he will surprise you by telling you the name.
At the age of 2-3 years, child can:
  • Point to some pictures in books.
  • Say about 50 to 100 words.
  • Speaks in two-word sentences and may speak in several 3-word sentences.
  • Others understand it most of the time.
  • Understands antonyms (eg: get up or sit down).
  • Follows two-commands (ex: take the spoon and put it on the table).
  • Understands new words quickly.
  • He talks about things that do not exist in his surroundings.
  • Uses words (eg: above, below and inside).
How we can help the child at this age:
  • Use short words and sentences and speak clearly.
  • repeat what the child says and add to it (ex: if the child says, “a beautiful flower,” you can say “yes, that is a beautiful flower, do you want to smell the flower?”
  • Make the child know that what he says is important to his parents, while asking him to repeat things that he does not understand.
  • Teach a child new word, reading is a great way to do this.
  • Talk about colors and shapes.
  • Teach the child to count by counting the toes and fingers and counting the steps.
  • Put the toys in a basket and have the child remove them one by one, mentioning their name, repeating what you say and adding and helping him to group things into categories.
  • Cut out pictures from magazines and make a scrapbook, helping the child to stick the pictures in the scrapbook, naming the pictures and talking about how to use them.
  • Look at family photos, name the people, and talk about what they are doing in the photo.
Signs of Child Delay:
When the child's development is delayed or any of the following behaviors occur:
  • ​He does not participate in smiling.
  • He does not notice if anyone is in the room.
  • He doesn't notice certain sounds (eg: a car horn or a cat's meow)
  • He acts as if he is in his own world.
  • He prefers to play alone.
  • He doesn't seem interested in toys or playing with them, but he likes to play with things around the house.
  • He Has a keen interest in things that young children usually don't (ex: would rather hold a flashlight or ballpoint pen than a favorite doll)
  • He can say the alphabet, numbers or words but he can't use words to ask for the things he wants.
  • He doesn't seem afraid of anything.
  • He doesn't seem to be in pain.
  • He uses words or phrases that are not appropriate for the situation or repeats scripts from television.
Speech delay:
One of the most common types of developmental delay, some children show behavioral problems because they get frustrated when they can't express what they need or want. Sometimes minor delays in speech are temporary and resolved on their own or with a little help from the family, so it is important to encourage the child to speak with gestures or sounds and spend a lot of time playing with and talking to the child. In some cases, the child needs more help from a speech-language pathologist to learn to communicate.
A speech delay can sometimes be a warning sign of a more serious problem (such as hearing loss, developmental delays in other areas, or even an autism spectrum disorder). Early childhood speech delays may also be a sign of a learning problem that may not be addressed or diagnosed until he joins the school, so it is important that the child be evaluated when he is not able to develop his language.

When to see a doctor:
  • If the parents have any questions or concerns about the child's development.
  • When there is a delay in speaking with some of the behaviors mentioned earlier.
  • If the child stops talking or doing the things he used to do.

Last Update : 15 May 2023 11:33 AM
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