Speech delays are relatively common in children and can vary greatly in their severity and causes. They are treatable, although the length and depth of treatment are going to depend on the case. Some children can be past their speech problems before they start kindergarten, while others may need to attend speech therapy throughout some of their school years. The severity often depends on what is causing the delay as well as how long it has gone untreated. The earlier the problem is caught, the easier it is to find out what’s wrong and catch the child up.
There are a lot of different things that can cause a speech delay, and while some are minor issues there are others that might be more of a cause for concern. Take a look below for a deeper look at what could be causing your child’s speech delay and what you can do to get help.
Speech delays can often be caused by a variety of learning disabilities or other disabilities such as autism or ADHD. This is because these disabilities can affect the part of the brain that rules over speech, or can make it harder for children to focus on conversations and speech patterns so that they can learn. Speech issues related to a disability can vary in how easy they are to treat. A child who has ADHD and simply needs to be taught in a different way might be able to catch up fast, while a child who is non-verbal due to autism may need a greater depth of treatment.
With one in three people over 65 living with hearing loss, it’s easy to associate hearing problems with people of an older age. However, it is something that can affect children as well and can cause issues with speech. The inability to hear others speak as well as they should be able to means that they are not learning how to form words the way they would with normal hearing. This is a situation that will require help from both a pediatric speech therapist and a hearing doctor. It will make the work of the therapist easier if the child’s hearing impairment is able to be fixed or at least improved.
The environment that a child grows up in has a huge impact on how they develop. It is the duty of the parents to engage the child, speak to them, and help them learn and grow. They are the first people who influence the child’s speech and growth patterns. This is not to say that a child with a speech delay has neglectful parents. It could simply be that the parents don’t know the right ways to encourage language development and need help learning how to guide their child. This is something that speech therapists are able to help with by showing the adults their methods.
It may take some time and testing to determine the cause of your child’s speech delay. The most important thing is that you get your child in with their pediatrician and begin discussing the problem with professionals. This will allow you to get help as soon as possible and get your child back on track.