Is My Child On Track? FAQs about speech and language delays

CAS ApraxiaAs exciting as a child’s language development is, it can also be a source of stress for a lot of parents. Should my child be talking already? Are they using enough words? Could something be wrong? While there is no set “schedule” and every child develops language at their own pace, sometimes speech and language may seem to be lagging a little further behind in a child’s development than expected. Want to learn more? Check out the following frequently asked questions:

  • What causes a language delay?

While some language delays have specific causes—hearing loss, brain injury, intellectual disability—the causes of many are unclear. Specific language impairment (SLI) is the term used to refer to a delay in language development when a child is typically developing in all other aspects. For most children, the cause of SLI is unknown.

  • I think my child might have a speech or language delay; should I take her to get services, or take a “wait and see” approach until I’m sure?

If you think your child might have a speech or language delay, it’s best to get an evaluation from a professional speech-language pathologist. If your child is on track, a professional evaluation can help to give peace of mind. If the speech therapist does determine your child has a delay, beginning speech-language therapy as early as possible can help stimulate language development and head off future problems.

  • How can a speech-language pathologist help?

A speech-language therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine where your child is developmentally and their particular communication strengths and challenges. They will take into consideration not only spoken language, but how much language the child understands and how well your child uses non-verbal communication, like gestures. The speech therapist will then work to stimulate language development, using the child’s current skills as a starting point. A speech-language pathologist can also provide counseling to parents in how to help their child at home too.

  • How can I tell if my child has a language delay?

Telling the difference between a late bloomer and a genuine language delay can be tricky. Check in with us again next week, when we’ll talk about some general developmental milestones that can help you determine if your child is on track or if they could benefit from speech-language therapy.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give me a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to jayne@speechassociatesofny.com. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.

© 2016, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

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