IMPROVING SPEECH IN CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY
Children with developmental delays related to processing disorders and learning disorders like verbal dyspraxia often need help matching the speech development of their peers. A common issue is that speech and language problems differ, but often overlap. A child with a language delay might say words well but only be able to put two words together. A child with a speech delay might use words and phrases to express ideas but be hard to understand. Learning about common speech issues in children with developmental delays can help you determine which one affects your child. Speech issues and delays can be improved with at-home solutions or with the help of a qualified professional.
If your child doesn’t develop according to this timeline, he or she may have speech and developmental delay that requires attention:
- 12 months – recognizes his or her own name, understands basic instructions and uses one or two words
- 18 months – uses between five and 20 words
- 1 to 2 years – growing vocabulary, uses two-word sentences, imitates sounds that animals make and understands what “no” means
- 2 to 3 years – has a vocabulary of about 450 words, calls himself or herself “me” instead of by name, enjoys hearing stories, uses short sentences with some plural words
- 3 to 4 years – Uses sentences with four or five words, vocabulary expands to 1,000, can repeat several nursery rhymes
- 4 to 5 years – Uses past tense, has the vocabulary of 1,500 words, starts asking questions
- 5 to 6 years – 6,000-word vocabulary, can describe objects and locations, uses sentences with five to six words
If your child does not develop along this timeline, he or she may have a related physical or developmental issue such as articulation disorder, fluency disorder, or resonance disorder.
At Jeevaniyam, our speech and language therapist will do a thorough check of their milestones and find out whether the child is having any issues with the help of the following checks:
- What your child understands?
- What your child can say?
- Sound development and clarity of speech.
- Your child’s oral-motor status (how the mouth, tongue, palate, etc., work together for speech as well as eating and swallowing)
Based on the test results, the speech-language pathologist might recommend speech therapy for your child. The speech therapist will work with your child to improve speech and language skills and show you what to do at home to help your child. Parents are an important part of helping kids who have speech or language problems. A few key areas that we strongly suggest the parents do at home to improve the child’s overall speech skills are:
- Talk with your baby, sing, and encourage imitation of sounds and gestures.
- Start reading when your child is a baby. Look for age-appropriate soft or board books or picture books that encourage kids to look while you name the pictures.
- Use everyday situations. To build on your child’s speech and language, talk your way through the day.