As a parent, it is normal to compare the development of your child to others. That scenario certainly applies to language development. If you think your child’s development of speech and language is slower than normal, compare your impression with what other family and friends are thinking.
If you are still concerned after sharing your thoughts and your child is in the 18-30 month age range, consider the factors have been proven to indicate a young child’s language and speech development may be delayed:
- Does your child understand language? This is called receptive language and usually precedes expression and use.
- Does your child use gestures? Children who use a greater number of gestures while communicating are more likely to catch up with peers.
- How many new words is your child adding to his vocabulary each month? Even though your child may appear to be slow in language development, he or she should still be adding new words frequently.
- How old is your child? Many studies have indicated the older the child is at the time of a language delay diagnosis, the less positive the outcome.
Remember, no child is alike. Concerned parents should seek the counsel of a certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) who will administer appropriate tests to determine the cause of the language delay and recommend appropriate. If the language delay is deemed serious, the SLP may recommend an early intervention program that will demonstrate language stimulation techniques for use in the home.