4 Signs of Speech and Language Issues
If you’re worried about whether your child is showing signs of a speech or language disorder, there are a few warning signs to keep an eye out for. Bear in mind that many disorders can be treated with speech therapy, and if speech therapy isn’t widely available in your area, meeting with a telespeech therapist may still be an option.
Limited Vocabulary at Age 2
By age two, most children have a rather extensive vocabulary of anywhere from 50 to 100 words. Not only should they have a range of words, they should be forming short sentences and commands, and by age three, using three word sentences. If your child is behind, there are many reasons why it could be happening.
If your child struggles to say some sounds or words, pauses often while speaking, repeats the first sounds of words multiple times before staying the word, or stretches sounds out while saying a word, this could be an indication of a stuttering problem. Treatment can greatly decrease, and possibly even eliminate the stutter with time.
Trouble Pronouncing Certain Sounds
If your child has difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, particularly p, b, m, h, w, k, f, f, t, and d sounds, it could be a sign of a speech sound disorder. Even if there is an adequate or expanded number of words in the vocabulary, there could be a problem if the words are not clear or are difficult even for familiar people to understand.
No Interest in Speaking
If your child hasn’t expressed interested in speaking by age two, either through a desire to communicate with your or others, it could be a sign of an issue with speech and language development. Consult with a professional to determine the cause.
If your child is consistently displaying any of these warning signs, see a pediatrician as soon as possible. If there’s enough concern, the doctor can refer you to a speech-language pathologist for further evaluation to determine the appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. The sooner you seek treatment, the better the outcome.