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Child Speech Development:
Is Your Child Lost For Words?

Child Speech Development... ...

Child speech development
...As your child grows from toddler to childhood you should be very aware and concerned about his development.

One of the areas of his development you should be concerned about is his speech development.

If you find that his gurgles are not developing into "mama" and "dada" within a short period of time, it will sometimes cause you anxiety.

Your child is two years old and is still not talking. He says a few words but in comparison to his siblings and other children his age he is way behind. You will probably try to explain it away with various excuses, hoping he will catch up.

If this is becoming a worry you should contact your family doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a speech therapist.

A speech therapist is a health professional trained to evaluate and treat people who have speech, language, voice or swallowing disorders that will effect his ability to communicate.

If you suspect a delay in your child speech development, you should consult a speech therapist --opens in new window-- who can diagnose and treat communication disorders.

The speech therapist will evaluate your child with special speech and language test; this can also include a hearing test as hearing difficulties can affect speech.

Depending on the results, the therapist may suggest activities you and your child can do at home to improve his speech and language development.

This can include reading to him more regularly, speaking in short clear sentences, making it easy for him to imitate you.

Make sure you use correct pronunciation and grammar. The therapist may also recommend group therapy or refer you to another professional for further evaluation such as an audiologist... hearing specialist... or development psychologist.

Child Speech Development Early Warning Signs

About 10% of all children have some difficulty learning language. Experts encourages you to make sure that your child's hearing is not impaired, also that his speech development falls within the normal range. Learn some signs that could indicate speech issues in your child.

If you notice that your child doesn't startle at loud sounds, this could be an indication of hearing problems, which in itself will affect speech also.

If his eyes don't follow you around when you're talking this could be another sign of hearing problems. Your child is naturally curious about speech and will generally follow you around the room with his eyes if you're talking or singing.

He will begin to imitate sounds between 4 to 6 months. If he is not doing this, it could be he can't hear any sounds to imitate. Get him checked out by your health care professional.

A typical 18-month-old child will have a vocabulary of about 50 words. If your child were not uttering any words at this stage it would be considered unusual.

Most children start using 2 word combinations by 18 to 22 months. If he was not putting two words together by the age of two and a half, this would be a red flag for child speech development delay.

In some cases the problem has a social or environmental cause, such as the lack of communication and stimulation in the home.

You can help develop his environmental skills by doing various tasks such as... reading books and singing songs to him on a daily basis beginning at infancy.

Introduce a wide vocabulary by giving everything its specific name. Speak directly and clearly to him giving him time to respond. Avoid finishing his sentences.

Continue reading "How You Can Help Your Child Speak Better"

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