Speech-Language Development Resources
Parents often ask “what is normal speech and language development?” “Is my child experiencing a speech or language delay that may impact his or her social or academic development?” The following information should help with the identification of a speech and language disorder. If you have concerns about your child’s communication skills, a speech and language assessment can be very helpful. The information gathered at an initial assessment will help determine if a speech or language disorder exists. We are here to help assess, consult, and provide therapy services when a child is needing help with speech, language and communication skills.
Speech and Language development:
Warning signs for Pediatric Speech-Language Disorders
- Difficulty sucking/nursing,
- Drooling, difficulty using a cup by 9 months of age
- Difficulty with chewing and swallowing foods
- Pacifier past 18 months, thumb sucking past 3 years of age
- Difficulty “starting speech” usually with the first sound of a word
- Repetitions, Prolongations, Hesitations in speech
- An unusual voice quality: nasal, rough, or hoarse
- Unusual speech errors and multiple errors in words, phrases.
- Speech that can’t be understood at least half of the time by 2 ½ -3 years of age by Parents. Speech that is not understood by others 3-4 years of age.
- Child leaves omits, distorts, or substitutes sounds in words or deletes initial or final sounds in words.
- Does not respond to or is not able to follow simple requests
- Easily distracted and not able to listen to a book for a few minutes
- Uses “baby talk” at 4 years or older
- Demonstrates frustration and avoids social situations
- Mostly imitates others and does not use his/her own words (age 3-4)
- Uses limited vocabulary to express needs and interests
- Does not follow simple directions by 3 years of age and more complex 2-3 step directions by 4-5 years of age.
- Has a hard time naming objects, actions, feelings
- Limited eye contact or regard during interactions with family or others
- Limited attention to books and difficulty describing what happens.
- Limited understanding and use of “wh” questions: what, where, why, how
- Limited imitation of sounds, words at 1-2 years old
- Reduced vocabulary (less than 25 words at 2 years of age)
- No pronoun usage by age 2, especially “me”, “mine”, “my”
- Understands and uses words to get needs and wishes met by 18 months-2 years of age
- Asks what? often
- Poor attention to talking, music, etc.
- Not responding to requests, questions, conversation during play
- Complains about things being too loud
- Has hands in ears often (especially 2-4 year olds)
- Chronic ear infections – may be responsible for attention, hearing, speech, or language delays
From the American Speech-Language Hearing Association:
- Typical Speech and Language Development
- Talking with your Audiologist or Speech-Language Pathologist
- Step Away From the Sippy Cup!
- Communicating With Baby: Tips and Milestones From Birth to Age 5
News items of interest:
- The Challenges of Remote Learning for Children Who Stutter – NY Times – Oct 18, 2020
“Feeling put on the spot on a video screen when you can’t get words out can be intimidating. Experts offer advice.”
- Texas Boy Speaks Clearly for First Time After Dentist Discovered He Was Tongue-Tied – New York Times – Sept. 29, 2018
- “The Problem With Pacifiers” – New York Times – Jan 10, 2012
“ … studies have shown … that increased pacifier use is associated with more ear infections and more speech and language problems.”