Speech delay in children: Causes, signs, and treatments

Children with speech delay, if they receive early intervention, are still more likely to improve and develop normal language like other children. On the contrary, if there is no good problem-solving support, it will cause many obstacles in daily life, children born with loss of communication ability or even complete loss of language, difficult to use. active speech.

Children who are slow to speak

Children who do not achieve the normal growth rate of young children for each age group may be considered speech delay.

What is speech delay?

Each child will have a different rate of language development. In fact, there are children who can speak from an early age, but there are also children who can’t say simple words until 2 or 3 years old.

However, based on the normal milestones of language development of young children, parents can also easily detect a delay in speech in young children. Speech delay is not a child’s inability to speak, but rather a child’s limited language ability and use of speech, and a slower development rate than his age.

For example, according to the milestones of language development of young children, children aged 16 to 18 months can already use about 20 single words or more. Children can understand and say meaningful words, and know how to imitate sounds and words when they hear them. If at this stage, your child only speaks 5 to 10 words, and at the same time does not have the ability to imitate and repeat words, it can be determined that the child has a speech delay compared to the normal language development milestone.

Language is considered an important and necessary communication tool for life. It can help us express our desires, thoughts, and opinions clearly. At the same time, it is also a factor that can help people and people understand each other better, connect with each other more firmly.

Although children with speech delay still have stable development in physical, mental and other aspects. However, according to current statistics, it is found that the rate of children with speech delay is increasing significantly and causing many obstacles to the daily life and study of many young children. In addition, prolonged delay in speech can also lead to a decline in movement, cognition and behavior in many children.

Children who are slow to speak

Children with speech delay are very limited in language but still develop physically and intellectually.

Depending on the severity and causes of speech delay, children will have different symptoms. Based on the results of many studies, scientists have divided speech delay into 3 main types. As follows:

  • Simple speech delay: Most children with speech delay fall into this category and it can be gradually overcome well after the child grows up. Children are only limited in terms of language, unable to use speech to communicate. flexible but still able to develop other aspects stably.
  • Autistic speech delay: This is a condition in which children slow to speak due to the influence of autism syndrome, also known as autism spectrum disorder. Young children need to be examined, diagnosed and applied a combination of different interventions over a long period of time to be able to improve their language ability.
  • Intelligent speech delay: This type of speech delay is very rare and is also easily remedied. Although young children are limited in language and communication, they have superior intellectual property and are smarter than humans. Some children have good memories, super-calculations, or other natural talents.

According to the advice of experts, when noticing signs of speech delay in children, parents should quickly conduct a specific examination and diagnosis at pediatric facilities and hospitals. The doctor will conduct an examination, assess the extent and determine the cause and type of speech delay to offer the most appropriate method of application for young children.

Reasons why children are slow to speak

Speech delay in children can be due to many different reasons. Depending on the factors affecting the child, the treatment and intervention process will also be considered to choose different measures to bring the best effect to the young child.

For the conditions of children with simple speech delay, parents should not be too worried because the child can gradually improve after growing up because the child’s language development rate is only slower than usual. Or parents can also apply supportive measures at home, stimulate language, increase vocabulary for children to communicate more flexibly.

However, in other cases, children with speech delay may be affected by the following factors:

1. Speech delay due to physical diseases

Children with speech delay may be related to ENT problems. If this part cannot function well, it will make it difficult for children to understand and express language in a clear and specific way.

Most children with a speech delay will have their ears checked and evaluated when they are examined. Hearing impairments, otitis media, chronic inflammation can interfere with the hearing activities of young children, which makes them unable to absorb language well.

Children who are slow to speak

Children with speech delay may stem from physical problems related to the ears, lips, mouth, jaw, etc.

In addition, diseases related to the tongue, mouth, and pronunciation parts can also be the cause of many children’s speech delay. When the organs responsible for language control, especially the brain, are damaged, it is difficult for children to develop language as usual.

2. Slow to speak due to psychological damage

Psychology is also considered one of the reasons that can affect the language development rate of each child. If in the first years of life, a child has to face psychological trauma, serious events such as the loss of a loved one, traffic accident, fire, natural disaster or certain traumas, the psychology of Young children will be severely affected and greatly hinder the process of language acquisition, learning and development.

3. Speech delay due to autism

Speech delay is one of the typical symptoms of children with autism. Based on the results of many specialized studies, it is found that the majority of children with autism have language and communication deficits.

Children with autistic speech delay are also accompanied by cognitive and intellectual decline and have negative and abnormal behaviors. This situation needs to be intervened as soon as possible to help children improve and enhance the skills that are lacking and better integrate into life.

According to experts, the damage and symptoms caused by autism will last forever, difficult to overcome well. However, if detected and intervened at an early stage, young children still have the ability to recover and practice necessary skills.

Signs to recognize children who are slow to speak, parents need to pay attention

Signs of speech delay in children often manifest differently at each stage of development. Depending on the age and severity of each case, parents can detect abnormalities in language use in children.

Children who are slow to speak

Most children with delayed speech will have a limited vocabulary, little use of words, little interaction and communication.

Here are some signs to help parents early recognize and provide good support for children with speech delay at different stages and ages.

Children 3 to 4 months old

  • Children have little or no response to loud noises and sounds outside.
  • The child does not make any sounds like hum, growl, etc.
  • Children do not tend to imitate the sounds they hear.

Children from 7 to 12 months old

  • Children do not respond to outside noises.
  • The child does not know how to say any words, such as dad, ma, mam, etc.
  • Children do not try to communicate and interact with those around them when they have urgent needs such as eating, sleeping, etc.
  • Children do not make sounds like b, ê, eh, etc.
  • When his name is called, the child does not respond, does not turn his head to look.
  • Children cannot understand actions, gestures or never make movements such as shaking their head, nodding, waving, etc.
  • It seems that children are not interested, attracted by things going on around them.

Children from 16 months old

  • Children do not understand and do not respond to simple words and sentences such as “eat”, “don’t eat”, “don’t”,…
  • The child doesn’t say any words at all or can only say 1 or 2 familiar words.
  • Don’t know how to point at the things around or what you love and want to have.

Children from 18 months old

  • Children’s vocabulary is poor, less than 6 words.
  • When asked about parts of the body, the child did not understand and could not point to it correctly.
  • Children still cannot say simple words such as papa, ma ma, grandma, etc.
  • Children do not have the need to communicate with people around.
  • Children completely do not understand the requests and orders of others.
  • When asked or called by name, the child did not respond and did not respond.

Children over 24 months old

  • Children’s vocabulary is limited, the speed of learning new words is slow and they cannot increase at least 1 word in a week.
  • The child cannot say more than 15 words yet.
  • Tends to just imitate other people’s words and sounds.
  • Do not know how to combine words to form simple phrases and sentences such as “carrying children”, “feeding”, …
  • Unable or unwilling to communicate verbally.
  • Unable to understand other people’s words, instructions, or questions.
  • Don’t know how to play pretend games.
  • Not knowing the uses and ways of playing with objects and toys.

Children from 25 to 35 months old

  • Children can’t say simple sentences like “I’m hungry”, “I want to go out, etc.
  • Not knowing how to correctly name body parts.
  • Inability to ask questions.
  • Children may say words that are confusing or difficult to understand.

3 year old children slow to speak

  • When speaking, children do not know how to use personal pronouns such as son, father, mother, grandmother, brother, sister, etc.
  • Inability to combine words into complete sentences.
  • It is not possible to fully understand the questions, instructions and requests of people around.
  • Children do not speak clearly, difficult to understand.
  • Children do not know how to ask questions
  • Will tend to cling to parents.

The manifestations of children with speech delay are very diverse and rich. Therefore, parents need to pay close attention to be able to promptly detect abnormal signs of children.

To identify children with speech delay early, parents should also carefully refer to the normal rate of language development of children according to each age. At the same time, let your children conduct regular health checkups so that they can easily detect difficult problems in children and help them overcome more effectively.

How are children affected by speech delay?

As shared, language is known to be an important tool in the life of every human being. When a new word is born, we are exposed to the language and gradually develop it through many different forms.

For children who are slow to speak, their ability to acquire and develop language is limited, they will face many difficulties and obstacles in life. In particular, if children are not well supported to improve, it will cause many consequences in the future, making it difficult for children to integrate and stabilize their lives.

Specifically, some of the great effects of speech delay are:

1. Poor communication

This is probably the most common and serious harm to children with speech delays. Language and speech are the main means of human communication. Therefore, if children cannot develop well in this aspect, they will not be able to interact, get close and connect deeply with people around them.

Children can hardly understand what others want to convey and they themselves have many difficulties in expressing in language. This can cause children to gradually become detached from life, feeling shy, embarrassed and withdrawn.

2. Influence on learning results

Learning is considered one of the great challenges for children with speech delays. Young children will be taught and educated mainly through language to develop skills and absorb necessary information.

Children who are slow to speak

Children with speech delay will face many obstacles in the learning process, often being inferior to their peers.

However, children who are slow to speak will face many obstacles in learning and remembering languages, they cannot learn to write as well as their peers. This makes learning results of children not guaranteed, many children have to stay in class because they do not complete the curriculum well.

3. Difficulty showing ability

We all want to show our talents and receive praise and recognition from everyone around us. Especially young children, adolescents will be more hopeful about that.

However, the lack of language ability makes children with speech delays face many disadvantages in expressing their own abilities. For example, children rarely raise their hands to speak in class because they do not have enough vocabulary to express their understanding.

Or in everyday life, the children’s sharing is sometimes ignored by people because of the unclear and unclear expression. This causes many children to become self-deprecating, feel useless, incompetent and lose interest in life.

4. Psychological influence

Because the ability to use language and speech is limited, it is difficult for children with speech delay to interact and communicate with people around. Some children were even laughed at and ridiculed for their awkward speech.

This situation, if prolonged, will make the child feel extremely embarrassed, guilty and become withdrawn, afraid to interact with people around. Children will feel sad, depressed, negative thinking and always in a state of stress and anxiety, especially when they have to communicate.

How to treat children with speech delay effectively and safely

Children with speech delay are divided into many different types, so the application of interventions will also flexibly change to suit each case. For children who are simply slow to speak, just educating and supporting the application of language development measures at home can help children gradually increase their vocabulary and speaking ability. Or there are even cases where young children can improve their speech delay after they grow up.

However, for conditions of speech delay that are pathological or stem from organic causes, a more specialized examination, diagnosis, and intervention is required. Depending on the cause of autism, specialist doctors will advise you to come up with the most appropriate and effective treatment plan for your child.

Children who are slow to speak

Children with speech delay need to increase the time to communicate and interact more.

For example, if a child has a speech delay on his own due to the effects of hearing, tongue, jaw, and mouth problems, focus should be on improving and overcoming these defects so that the child can gradually acquire language. most effective way. Or if speech delay is due to autism, the intervention process will take longer and be more difficult. Young children may receive a combination of measures such as speech therapy, psychotherapy, special education, home interventions to improve language impairments.

In addition to measures to support speech for children with speech delay, the family also plays a very important role in the process of supporting language development for children. Therefore, parents should also pay attention and learn about home interventions to help children quickly improve more effectively.

  • Parents need to spend more time talking and communicating with their children. According to experts, communication is the best form to help children gradually develop their ability to use language and speech. While talking with children, parents should also ask questions to stimulate the child’s need for interaction, help children feel interested and want to talk more.
  • The process of supporting language development for children with speech delay will be easy and most effective if parents know how to integrate their children’s favorite games and activities. While playing with children, introduce them to the use, color, and name of each item so that they can better absorb it, and at the same time encourage the child to repeat it so that the child can remember it better.
  • Children who are slow to speak can also increase their vocabulary well if they regularly listen to music and listen to stories. When telling stories to children, parents should pay attention to pronunciation, voice along with attractive and interesting illustrations.
  • Create many conditions for children to participate in outdoor activities, meet and connect with peers.
  • If the child has problems with the mouth and tongue, parents can consult and consult with the doctor to apply lip-mouth-tongue exercises at home for children with speech delay.
  • Never imitate the child’s language. If the child says the wrong thing, slurs or uses inappropriate words, the parents should gently instruct and guide the child to adjust better.
  • Children with speech delay also need to pay attention to their daily nutrition. Parents should increase the intake of foods rich in nutrients and vitamins for young children. At the same time, it is necessary to limit foods containing a lot of spices, canned foods, processed foods, etc.

Besides, parents can also send their children to study and improve at special education centers. Here, young children will be cared for and guided to apply scientific and appropriate language development measures.

Hopefully the information shared in this article will help parents understand and know how to detect and intervene early for children with speech delay. Children who are supported at an early stage will easily improve their language skills, communication and better life balance.

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