Are you having a child aged about 3 years or younger? Are you worried that he or she is not speaking? Are you noticing that the child does not seem to listen? If you see these in your child then your child may be suffering from Late Speech Problem or language or hearing disorders. Through this blog we will try to make you aware of ways to identify if there is a speech disorder and how you should treat it.

Identifying early signs: The following are some typical symptoms of determining Speech disorder in young children:

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  • If the child is around 3 month’s old and if the baby does not smile or interact with others.
  • The baby should babble at an age of 4 to 7 months. By the time he or she is between 7 to 12 months he or she should make gestures like waving or pointing at things. Between 12 months and 24 months of age the child should respond to sound and should be able to vocalize. If it is observed that the child prefers gestures over vocalizing by the age of 18 months or more than there is cause for concern. At the age of 18 months the child must be able to imitate sounds
  • After two years of age the child should be able to produce words or phrases spontaneously. If the child is still merely imitating speech and gesturing then there is a possibility that the child is suffering from speech disorder. Other symptoms include if you observe that the child is able to utter only certain words and is not able to produce words. He may not be able to communicate beyond his or her immediate needs. The child may not be able to follow simple instructions.  

If the above symptoms are noticed, you need to consult an expert to detect the problem and get it treated. 

The causes for late speech problem in children are many. These could be owing to Hearing impairment, neurological disorders, Autism, learning disability etc. However to assess the reason for the disorder and to determine the degree of the same you must seek the help of a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or a Speech TherapistSpeech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

They are the ones who would assess the child’s speech and language skills against the normal development of the child. Depending on the type of speech disorder if detected the SLP would plan out the course of speech therapy which would be required to rectify the problem. Research shows that the possibility of recovery is high if the problem is detected and treated at an early age. So in case any symptom is noted, you must take immediate steps. 

As a parent, if your child is suffering from a speech disorder you need to be patient. You must always be encouraging to him or her all the time. You must accompany the child to the speech therapy sessions and extend your cooperation to the SLPs treating your child. You might try to repeat the things being done at the Speech therapy sessions at home. Speech Plus is a leading Speech Therapy Clinic in Kolkata. For any information about speech related problems or treatment visit our website.