Children aged between
three to sixteen years are often found to suffer from speech delay. It affects
around 3-10% of the children in this age group and it is interesting to note
that the boys are more affected compared to girls. Speech
delay is considered to be a communication disorder where proper
conversation gets hindered.
The fact that a child
is suffering from speech delay can be ascertained when you compare his style of
speech with other children of his age group. Here it is important that the parents
get this clear – there is no particular age wherein speech would develop
completely. Speech development is a continuous process and each child has its
own pace of progression.
Signs of Speech Delay
child finds it difficult to follow directions
talks in a slow and incomprehensible manner even after three years
does not complete his sentences and the words are not in a correct order
in his sentences
finds articulation very complex and is prone to omit or distort certain
Causes of Speech Delay
There can be a wide
array of factors responsible for speech delay in children. It has been often
observed that children at this age feel attracted to a whole lot of things as
they are discovering something every other day. They get busy learning a lot of
other skills and parents too fail to take notice that in the process, the child
is not getting enough opportunity to hone his speech skills.
Children can suffer from
speech delay if their parents happen to be abusive. This is another cause of
as there is a lack of communication and without persistent and engaging
conversation; the child is not likely to learn much about proper conversation.
deprivation is another cause which is closely related to the above point. This
is often found to be the case with children whose both the parents are working.
In these cases, the child does not get enough time to spend with the people
they are most close to and due to this lack of time spent in inter
communication, the child develops his speech skills pretty late. It can also be
the case that the child is suffering from a trauma or is emotionally distressed
due to some reason.
Even twins can suffer
from speech delay. This is mostly found to affect one of the twins. The reason
is that the parents tend to be more focused on one twin due to some reason and
the other twin does not get the desired attention. This emotional distance and
lack of attention might lead to speech delay.
There can be other causes
like mental retardation that impairs the development of speech in a child. This
is completely a psychological problem and must be treated likewise before
simply starting off with speech therapy. You need to ascertain whether the
child is autistic, which is a developmental disorder. You then need to go for
specialized treatment as suggested by the doctor.
Hearing loss from birth
or due to any other cause can logically lead to speech delay. If the child is
unable to hear people speaking around him, he will naturally find it difficult
to communicate himself.
Speech delay is also
attributed to effective mutism. This means that the child simply doesn’t want
to talk when spoken to. He chooses his own time to speak that is, only with
certain people or under certain conditions. This is also a psychological factor
and the child should be encouraged in a very friendly manner to engage in
Cerebral palsy is
another reason causing speech delay. It is a movement disorder occurring due to
brain injury or damage. A completely separate course of treatment is suggested
for the child.