The age at which children start speaking varies, like with grasping other skills, but the difference should not be too far apart.

It is still essential for parents to know a little about speech and language development. The knowledge helps them know when there is a cause of concern that a kid has taken too long to learn speaking or is not doing it well enough for the age. Parents should know they have options for speech therapy near them. In addition, arranging an appointment with an audiologist in Robbinsville NJ, or elsewhere may also be important to establish the extent of hearing.

The starting point is for parents to learn the difference in speech and language as one could cause trouble speaking in children. kidshealth.org (https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/not-talk.html) defines both and signs that a child with trouble speaking is having one of them. If you observed that your child has difficulty in speech, one of the best ways to help improve your child’s speech is by reading story at home.

Language: Language is the ability to give and get information verbal, non-verbal, and written. It culminates in understanding and getting understood when communication is taking place.

Speech: Speech is a verbal expression of language. It includes the way human beings form words and sounds (articulation).

Speech and language problems are different, although they can overlap. Children with language delay can utter words well but can only combine two words. Kids with speech delay may use words and even phrases when expressing an idea, but they do it in a difficult-to-understand manner.

How Speech and Language Disorders Contribute to Trouble Speaking

Speech Disorder

Children with a speech disorder have the challenge of forming a sound that makes up speech. Others cannot put sentences together. Signs of a speech disorder according to webmd.com (https://www.webmd.com/children/speech-language-disorders) include:

  • Problems with pronouncing p, b, h, m, and w sounds for kids of 1-2 years
  • Trouble with making d, f, g, k, n, and t sound at between ages 2 and 3
  • When people interact with a child well but struggle to understand things they say.

A speech disorder is in these three major types.

Articulation disorder: A challenge in articulation makes it difficult for a child to pronounce particular words. For instance, the kid says “wabbit” when meaning “rabbit.” Letters such as b, p, and m are simpler to master, and many children can pronounce them excellently by 2 years. The sounds that take longer to master are r,l, and th. The cause of articulation challenges in many children is unknown, although there are cases associated with other existing conditions. A cleft palate, difficulty in controlling mouth movements, hearing loss, and teeth problems are conditions that cause articulation challenges.

Fluency disorder: Fluency is the natural flow of speech to progress from describing one thing to another. The most common fluency disorder is stuttering, which leads to excess repetitions, prolongations, hesitations, or blocks inflow of speech. Stuttering is common when kids are approaching 3 years. It is an age when a child’s thinking is faster than expressing thoughts in words. Stuttering requires attention by a professional if a child reaches 3.5 years or if the fluency problem lasts beyond 6 months. Several theories try to demystify the cause of stuttering in children. The most likely cause is linked to underlying neurological differences that interfere with speech and language. Internal reactions from the person speaking and external reactions from listeners can impact but not cause stuttering.

Voice disorders: Phonation is a process that causes voice production when air moves up from the lungs to vibrate the vocal folds. A child with voice disorders speaks too softly or loudly. The voice may be hoarse, raspy, and harsh or suddenly keep changing pace. Frequent loss or voice of speaking a pitch that does not suit a child’s gender or age is also a sign of a voice disorder. Voice disorders can occur due to cysts, vocal nodules, paralysis, papillomas, or vocal fold weakness.

Language Disorders

Language disorders can be a reason for your child to have trouble speaking. It is a communication disorder that affects a child’s comprehension and use of language. An affected child finds it hard to get the right words, make complete sentences, and sometimes comprehend what others say. Such kids usually use fewer words or simpler sentences than their peers. A language is different from a speech disorder in that it affects all forms of communication. Speech disorder only affects sound production.

Your child could be having a language disorder if these signs are salient.

  • Failure to babble by 7 months
  • Speaking just a few words by 17 months
  • Difficulty in putting two words together by 24 months
  • Problems with talking and playing with other children from age 2 to 3

Receptive language disorder:

This happens when a child has difficulty in understanding speech. The child struggles to comprehend words they hear or read. They often respond in a way that does not make sense, for instance, when required to answer the question, follow directions or point to objects.

Expressive language disorder:

Children with this disorder have trouble finding appropriate words for expressing thoughts, ideas, needs, and feelings. They may understand other people but find it hard to string words into sentences, ask questions, start and maintain a conversation.

Mixed receptive-Expressive language disorder: This condition, like its name, is in children experiencing receptive and expressive language disorder at the same time. Their listeners cannot understand them, and they also face difficulties comprehending words by other speakers.

It is important to note that learning more than one language cannot make children have language disorders. Kids with language disorders have challenges with all languages.

There is no known specific cause of language disorders bust is linked to health and physical challenges such as:

  • Down syndrome
  • Premature birth
  • Brain illness or tumor
  • Brain injury
  • Developmental disorders like autism
  • Damage to the CNS
  • Poor nutrition

A history of language in the family of a child increases the risk.

Doctors might not always know the cause of speech and language disabilities in a child but testing and treatment soon after noticing the challenges help to improve communication. A speech-language pathologist will determine what a child hears, says, sound development, and speech clarity. An SLP, after the tests, will develop a program to improve speech and language skills.

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