Each child develops at their own pace. However, when your child is unable to communicate as much as other children their age speech delays may be the culprit. Speech delays occur when a child isn’t developing language and speech at the expected rate. According to the AAFP, there is a 2.3 to 19% prevalence of speech delays in children aged 2 to 7 years old. This makes it a common developmental problem that usually affects preschool children.
- What are its symptoms? Children with speech delays are often unable to do the following:
- Speak and understand simple words by 12-15 months old
- Trouble imitating sounds by 18 months old
- Produce words or short phrases spontaneously by 2 years old
- Speak in short, simple sentences by 3 years old
- Tell a simple story by 4-5 years old
- What causes speech delays in children?
Speech delays are often caused by slow development, intellectual disability, or hearing loss. In some cases, slow communication enhancement may also be caused by selective mutism or conditions like cerebral palsy and autism.
- How are speech delays diagnosed?
To determine if your child has a speech delay, it’s best to consult your physician. Your doctor may recommend your child to see an audiologist for a hearing test and a speech therapist for speech therapy in Milwaukie, Oregon. Speech therapy is an effective method of treatment to improve communication and vocal quality, as well as prepare your child for school.