Speech delay is one of the typical signs of children with autism syndrome. However, do all children with speech delays have autism? The following article information will help you answer this question.
Does a child with speech delay have autism?
Does a child with autism have autism is always a question asked by many parents as most autistic children have difficulties in language skills and poor communication. Statistics show that more than 40% of autistic children do not have verbal communication and between 25 and 30% of children with autism can speak but only use a few words and phrases. simple when children start to be 12-18 months and then start to stop talking.
To be able to diagnose a child with autism syndrome or not, it takes a lot of time to evaluate, observe and perform many different diagnostic methods. A child showing signs of autism will need to be monitored and intervened for an extended period of time before any definitive diagnosis can be made.
Regarding the cause of autism, up to now, there has not been any specific research to prove it. However, scientists have also found a few related factors such as genetics, environmental influences or some health problems of the mother during pregnancy. However, it is still not possible to determine the specific mechanism and genetic code that causes autism.
Autism is known as a syndrome, it is not a disease at all, so there are no specific drugs and supportive methods that do not guarantee a radical improvement in symptoms. However, being able to detect abnormalities at an early stage (from 12 to 36 months of age) will make an important contribution to the process of raising awareness, educating skills and improving ability. language in children with autism.
In particular, speech delay is one of the first and typical signs that most children with autism have. The big question, however, is do all children with speech delays have autism? According to experts, speech delay can be a sign of autism, but it is not a decisive factor. Also because slurred speech can be a separate condition, it can be a monophasic speech delay or it can also be a factor related to disorders of language development.
It can be seen that speech delay is a manifestation of autism, but not every child with speech delay can be diagnosed with autism. That is why, if parents notice that their children have signs of delay in speech, language ability is lower than their age, they should take their children to a specific examination at reputable specialized facilities to get specific conclusions.
There are a few reasons that can cause a child’s speech delay, such as:
- Young children are deprived of the love and attention of their families, especially their parents. These children will be prone to some mental health problems, many children are constantly exposed to electronic devices, have little communication with people around, so it is easy to lead to delayed speech.
- Children who have some problems with the mouth, tongue, hearing such as tongue brakes, cleft palate, otitis media will have difficulty pronouncing and speaking slower than usual.
- Children who are deficient in substances, especially calcium deficiency, can also lead to speech delay, but this problem will be easier to overcome than other causes.
- Speech delay in children can also be related to language disorders, such as learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities, etc.
Speech delay can be a simple condition and at some point the child will improve on his own. However, if speech delay is a manifestation of autism, it requires a long period of education and training, many of which can persist for the rest of life.
Generally, to be able to diagnose a child with autism, the child needs to have at least 3 of the following factors:
- Children do not know how to express emotions, tend to isolate themselves, want to play alone.
- Babies from 12 months old but still not babbling, 24 months old still cannot say whole sentences or even simple words and phrases. Children do not actively talk, the ability to communicate in language is poor.
- Children just love to observe and play with inanimate and inanimate objects.
- Children with autism often tend to repeat an action, sentence, or sound over and over, such as clapping, nose picking, twisting hands, etc.
The diagnosis of a child with autism requires observation and evaluation over a period of time, usually about 3 months. Therefore, in order to know if the delay in speech in children is really a manifestation of autism, parents need to take their children to visit major hospitals, meet with specialists to be diagnosed. Best advice and support.
How to distinguish children with autism and children with normal speech delay?
Speech delay can be a single condition, but it can also be a warning sign of autism, and the two problems can be easily confused. As shared above, speech delay is definitely one of the telltale symptoms of autism, but it is unlikely that every child with speech delay will also be diagnosed with this syndrome. Besides, the severity and effects of autism will be much more severe and it will take a long time to improve the necessary skills for young children.
To avoid confusion between normal speech delay and autistic speech delay, parents need to know a few ways to distinguish as follows:
1. About the cause
To be able to distinguish specific health problems, understanding the mechanism of disease is the first thing that you need to do. The cause of speech delay needs to be specifically conducted through medical tests to ensure the most accurate.
1.1 Causes of simple speech delay
- Oral motor disorders: These diseases are associated with a number of speech processing disorders, most notably dysarthria.
- Due to physical diseases: For example, tongue brake, cleft palate, etc.
- Hearing problems, hand infections, or middle ear infections can also cause speech delays.
- Children who are overused with electronic devices such as phones, televisions, and computers can also reduce their attention to the interaction around them, thereby reducing their ability to communicate and use language. .
- Young children who lack the attention and love of their parents or do not often communicate and talk to people around may also have speech delays.
- Some traumatic events from a young age are also one of the reasons why children are slower to speak than usual.
- Due to sequelae after performing brain surgery since birth.
- Lack of nutrients, especially calcium deficiency.
1.2 Causes of speech delay due to autism
Until now, scientists have not been able to find a specific cause of autism in young children. However, some of the following factors may be associated with this syndrome:
- Genetic factors and some genetic variation.
- Women’s childbearing age is too high, usually over 40 years old, will easily encounter health problems for pregnant women and fetuses.
- Pregnant women suffer from stress, excessive stress during pregnancy or use unsafe drugs, not prescribed by a doctor.
- During pregnancy, pregnant women are often exposed to toxic environments and chemicals.
2. About expression
Most parents can only recognize and distinguish diseases through external manifestations, not all parents have a clear understanding of pathology. Although the symptoms between simple speech delay and speech delay caused by autism are quite similar, if you spend time observing carefully, you can still distinguish them.
2.1 Manifestations of simple speech delay
- Children will not respond when called by others because they have hearing problems or may not understand what people are saying.
- However, children will react if they are warmly hugged by relatives and parents.
- Gets bored playing alone and likes to observe people around.
- Babies are about 4 months old but do not respond to sounds, noises, do not babble, babble. Children from 12 months can’t say simple words, from 15 months can’t understand, 20 months still have limited capital from 24 months, can’t say consecutive words.
- Children are less active in saying new words, but mostly just repeat what others have just said.
- Inability to imitate other people’s gestures or posture.
- When babies turn 35 months, they still don’t know how to ask simple questions.
- 3-year-old children still can not speak whole sentences, stuttering. 4 year old children still cannot understand simple concepts.
- Children often cling to their parents, until the age of 4, it is still difficult to separate.
- Rarely actively communicate, chat with others except in urgent cases.
2.2 Manifestations of autistic children
To determine that a child with a speech delay is autistic, at least 3 of the following symptoms must be met:
- Children have a lack of ability to use language to communicate, for example, no signs of babbling, little communication, not understanding what others say.
- Babies don’t show emotions when held warm.
- Reduced social interaction, such as children will not know how to make eye contact, do not respond when parents call, tend to want to play alone.
- Children often repeat certain behaviors, gestures, and meaningless words. For example, clap your hands, tilt your head, bang your hands on something, etc.
- Young children don’t know how to play peek-a-boo, pretend games.
- Children are not able to express emotions on their faces.
- Children with autism will be quite sensitive to sounds, smells, and light.
- Children will be easily attracted to an object, often paying more attention to the small details instead of the whole.
- Children with autism often scream and become irritable and agitated.
- There are even many cases of self-harm by negative behaviors such as banging your head against the wall, scratching your body.
- Many children show signs of tiptoeing.
How to improve language for children with speech delay?
Depending on the cause of the speech delay, we will have different solutions. If it is just a simple speech delay, parents who just need to spend more time caring, interacting and educating their children can also help children quickly improve their ability to use language, know how to express themselves through language. speech.
However, for autistic speech delay, it is necessary to be more careful and persistent. It is best for parents to take their children to visit them as soon as possible at reputable big hospitals for specific advice and support from experts. First, the doctor will examine the function of the mouth, tongue, and hearing to see if it is the cause of the child’s limited language ability.
If a thorough examination is done and the organs are still functioning normally, the doctor will ask the parents to take the child to a psychological clinic for a more accurate diagnosis. Particularly with speech delay due to autism, it is necessary to be carefully monitored and persistently overcome in a long time. Children also need additional support at specialized educational institutions to receive expert support to improve skills, education to raise awareness to better integrate into the community.
In summary, regardless of the cause of speech delay, it is also one of the major barriers affecting the development, cognition and life of children. Parents need to pay attention and promptly detect the child’s abnormality in the first years of life so that they can quickly intervene and help the child overcome better.
The information in this article has helped readers answer the question “Do children with speech delay have autism?”. Hopefully, parents can take the time to pay attention and promptly detect abnormal symptoms in their children to have the most appropriate intervention measures.