It Happens with Children at this Age.
The parents are well aware that the child stutters or stammers or does not pronounce the words properly. The general belief is that the problem will go away with age.
Not that it cannot happen, the child may stop stuttering or the speech will become clearer. But it is advisable to consult a Speech Therapist for an opinion. It should not be too late to start speech therapy exercises. Delayed Speech development will also result in delayed reading and writing skills which will ultimately affect the child’s progress at school.
The Child too Small to Undergo Tests
Some parents think that their child is too small and it’s too early to subject them to medical tests. These beliefs are unscientific and hospitals conduct hearing loss tests while they are a few days old.
It is not advisable to delay the visit to the Speech Therapist. Speech professionals are experts trained to handle young babies. They can reliably check Speech problems in children and hearing loss before the child can start speaking.
Boys are slower than girls in picking up Speaking Skills
Boys start speaking much later than Girls. Believe it or not, it’s true.
It is a well-known fact that girls start speaking before the boys do. But it does not mean that one should delay testing, however, the age difference is not much. It is a fact that since girls mature earlier, they also acquire other skills faster than boys. If the parents feel that the boy’s speech is somewhat delayed, they should refer to boys of similar age. A comparison with the talking skills of other boys who have started speaking will help.
The Child is Not Speaking because they are Stubborn or Lazy
At times, the parents believe that the delay in speech development is because the child is stubborn or lazy and does not talk much.
It is very common that the child continues to speak in baby language much after the other children of the same age group are clear in their speech. Parents feel that the child is stubborn or lazy. If the child says “Poon” instead of “Spoon” omitting the word “S” while at the same time can pronounce the word “Sun”. It is not being stubborn or lazy. Chances are that the child can have what is medically known as “Phonological Disorder” or “Phonemic Disorder”. Observe the child carefully or consult a Speech Therapist for confirmation.
The problem will solve itself, when child will join school
Some parents delay visiting the Speech Therapist hoping that the child may start speaking after joining the school.
Parents should consult a Speech Therapist at the earliest. As the delay in starting Speech therapy exercises can affect the future of the child. If the child has a genuine Speech disorder, the delay in Speech therapy activities will also cause a delay in reading and writing ability. This will affect the child’s education and the possibility of getting good employment. The more the delay in starting with Speech therapy exercises, the longer it will take for the therapist to bring the child back to normalcy.
Speech Disorder is common in mentally ill kids
The general belief is that mentally retarded children also have Speech disorders.
Even if the child has other problems, it is not necessary that it will affect the speech too. It is a known fact that children with low IQ have exceptional conversational and foreign language skills. This is medically known as the “Chatterbox Syndrome”. The child can be very well trained by the Speech Therapist to express themselves though they might be mentally retarded.
Age V/s Speech Disorder Behavior Table for Quick Reference
The following chart indicates the approximate speech development stages. This will help in alerting parents whether the child is developing normal speech.
|At Birth||Crying (The Doctors at the Maternity Hospital will do the required check) Insist on Prenatal hearing check.|
|2 to 3 Months||The cry is different, also makes pleasing sounds in response to parents baby talk|
|3 to 4 Months||Makes continuous sounds, as if talking to oneself|
|5 to 6 Months||Sounds become a little rhythmic|
|6 to 10 months||Makes sound in response to questions, as if replying, also displays facial expressions.|
|11 to 12 months||Starts recognizing words, names like Ma, Pa. Repeats a few words|
|13 to 18 Months||Uses around 25 words, learns more names, obeys simple instructions.|
Parents should rely on professional help more than the myths and beliefs. Though the home remedies practiced in the past may not be entirely wrong but development in science has come a long way. New technologies and speech therapy techniques are much better and help in early normalization of the child.