Speech delay is one of the commonly citied problems in children between 3 and 16 years of age. The problem affects almost 3 to 10 percent of children in the said age group and is 3-4 times more common in boys than girls. It is basically a communication disorder among children who fail to converse properly, when compared to other children of the same age. There is no specific age for the development of the speech skills. While, for most of the children, good verbal communication starts by the age of three, there are others who remain wordless till the age of two and a half and then, start talking in three-word sentences.
There are still others who start speaking several words at the age of ten months, but are unable to expand the skills any further. Other children start talking at about 12 months and progress gradually. The cause of speech delay may be because the child is busy learning other skills or does not get much attention on his/her speech. Lack of balanced diet and emotional stress may also contribute to speech delay. Those children whose parents are abusive are likely to have speech delay, mainly due to lack of communication. At times, physical causes, such as mental retardation, also lead to speech delay.
Signs & Symptoms Of Speech Delay In Children
- The child fails to meet developmental milestone for language development
- The child lags behind other children of the same age, by at least one year, in terms of language development
- The child is not able to follow directions.
- Even after three years, speech of the child is slow or incomprehensible
- The child faces problem in forming a complete sentence. He/she is not able to place words in a sentence in the correct order.
- The child has serious complexity with articulation, including the substitution, omission or distortion of certain sounds