Speech delay in children: how to recognize it?

What is speech delay?

that’s it, you’re sure baby almost said”father“, Where from “mummy‘ At least that’s what he strives for communicate. Could this be the start of long conversations with your child? Quite possible. But learning to speak does not start and end with a “mama”. “Language is everything that turns around Communication in babies from the first months: interaction, the lookthe first babble then the word formation, the articulation and the production of sentences. Communication and language are one,” recalls Elodie Pascual, vice president of FNO, the National Federation of Speech Therapists.

However, if this linguistic development, this communication structure is specific to each child, it reacts anyway to a default a development beyond which we can foresee a delay. Language delay is therefore, by definition, a discrepancy between what is expected in the child’s development, the norm, and how your child may or may not communicate.

What are the signs of speech delay? When should you be concerned?

It’s not always easy for parents to sort things out in a child’s language: language development gradually grows naturally, without really defining the steps. “It’s also common for us to remember a child’s first steps, the place, the context. But when did the first words, the first sentences appear? It is often a more confused memory for the parents,” says the professional. But when each child has their own rhythm, there is still a standard and acquisition milestones which can serve as a barometer.

From 0 to 1 year

From the first months the baby enters an interaction with his parents and his environment. He communicates in his own way with chirps, smiles. After 6 months he can rlook in the eyes, Repeating syllables like “mama” or “to”. point fingers what he wants.

(he says his first words around the age of 12 months)

When should we ask questions?

  • if baby is quiet and don’t babble.
  • When baby doesn’t share your look.
  • If he does not react to ambient noise.

From 1 to 2 years

Between 1 and 2 years old, under the emotional gaze of their parents, babies finally say and understand their first words simple questions and simple “give me a blanket” instructions. After 18 months he surprises you to imitate sounds (animal and vehicle sounds) and practice repeat words belongs. He has a stock of about 50 words and he starts making little sentences by connecting two words, like “Dad is sleeping? “.

When should we ask questions?

  • If he still doesn’t show fingers to show you something.
  • If he doesn’t say so not a word at 18 months.
  • When he doesn’t seem to understand you.

Between 2 and 3 years

It will soon be school age and many realizations that will pass through the language. Between 2 and 3 years your child can now form simple sentences and acquire day after day a new vocabulary many words. He also understands more complex instructions and knows how to answer his parents’ questions.

Created a lot of questions : ” Where is Mama ? When will we arrive? » he knows some colors and he can understand space vocabulary “inside, outside” He goes from 50 words at age 2 to 900 words at age 3. That is lexical explosion, he will amaze you and say new words every day. “It’s time to pay attention to your own language,” smiles the speech therapist.

When should we ask questions?

  • If the child still does not associate not 2 to 3 words at the age of 30 months.
  • When not in use no verbs yet in his sentences.
  • If only to be understood close entourage that “translates” what he seems to mean.
  • He does No request
  • He did not no communication initiative verbal

What are the causes of a speech disorder?

Several causes can cause a delay, or even one language acquisition disorder in the child. Causes that should not be taken lightly and attributed to their rhythm.

A hearing problem that causes speech delay

It’s a rather mechanical principle: you have to hear well to speak well. If the baby does not hear properly and suffers from hearing problems, it will inevitably affect communication and language learning. “They are often quiet, quiet childrenthey jump when you get to their room,” the speech therapist specifies. When in doubt, the first thing to do is get your hearing checked her child.

Dysphasia or language development disorder

Dysphasia is one structural language disorder due to a genetic or psychological cause. It must be ensured early on that the child can express himself. Now we no longer say dysphasia, but “language development disorder“says the professional. It is the environment and the stimulus of the environment (family, health workers, school and environment of the child) that encourage an improvement in language skills or a disorder that will remain a handicap.

A neurological cause

Speech delay can also be a sign of it neurological disorder more important, more global, like a motor disability or a genetic syndromean abnormality of the brain, neurodegenerative diseases Where from a mental handicap.

An autism spectrum disorder

Autism spectrum disorders, which are diagnosed earlier and earlier, can be a reason for language delays in children. Corn Only a professional can assess the situation and make a definite diagnosis.

Lack of communication at home

the lack of stimulation is also a possibility. The learning environment, i.e. the attention we give to the child, how we treat it, is important from an early age: “For a child to want to communicate, You must also (first) communicate with him‘ the speech therapist remembers. To playfully ask him questions from an early age, talk to himand even read stories. “Many parents tell me not to read stories to their baby who is too small to understand. But it is a chance to leave a book to a child give him access to new wordsthe book object will not frighten the child, it will be integrated into his daily life long before he learns to read in CP,” she encourages.

For a child to want to communicate,
you have to contact him first

Encourage the child in their learning and development

If you notice a delay, a slight delay, or a speech difficulty in your child, you can act through games at home first, a communication that is perhaps better adapted to the child, in order to reinforce his desire for exchange.

  • Use short sentences and easy.
  • To speak in height your child.
  • promotion of the game, funny questions to let him participate and practice his oral expression”where is he blanket“.
  • correct the child when he mispronounces a word without repeating it.
  • Limit themscreens and read more stories.
  • Comment on everything that happens in daily life, what we see, what we hear, what we will do during the day, sing songs with him.

Screening for a Disorder: Consult if in doubt

However, if you have any doubts about your child’s language development, it is better to make an appointment quickly than to deal with “it will come with time‘, ‘it goes its own way’. The opinion of a professional will confirm or refute your fears, but allow them to early treatment Of the child. The future of his interactions with the world depends on it.

Who to consult?

  • your pediatrician : He is often your first point of contact when it comes to your child’s health and development. He will likely be able to refer you to a professional who will listen to your more specific questions about the baby’s own communications.
  • An ENT : In the case of speech delay, ENT is an essential first step for Check the baby’s hearing or child.
  • A speech therapist : Remember that a speech therapist acts not only on the schoolchild’s pronunciation disorders, but on language and orality as a whole, and this, from very early childhood. “There is no minimum age to send us a child in case of a language delay. From the first months of the child’s life and The first language developmentswe intervene at every cause rehabilitation sessions (early care) to allow the child to either catch up or allow them to communicate better to better stimulate them,” concludes Elodie Pascual.

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