What is Speech and Language Delay?

Speech and language skills are crucial. Firstly, speech skills are how we say sounds. Stringing sounds together to make words. On the other hand, language is learning words. Reading/ writing too. Also, understanding what is said. In other words, the delay is when a child is not communicating age-wise. Further, this delay can be due to speech, language skills, or both. So, speech-language delays can accompany other issues. Communication includes both speech and language skills.

There are many kids who develop late. This is a developmental delay. Often delays are not noticed. Until kids start school. Milestones need to be achieved on time. If you notice your child is delayed, consult now. The earlier the delay is detected, the faster it can be treated. Always know that there is no harm in consulting. Any delay in speech can affect your child. If you intervene at the right time, you can help your child. A delay can be easily bridged with the right therapy. Help your loved one today!

Speech and language milestones


Birth – 1 Year: Speech and Language Milestones


Copy of Copy of VERBAL ROUTINESto get your toddler talking..1

Speech & Language Milestones – There is a constant development in a child from the day he or she is born. Milestones between birth to 1 year are the crucial ones which form the foundation of a child’s communication skills.

The environment plays a key role too. Some children will develop certain speech and language skills quicker than others. However, despite a bit of difference between children, we expect most children to develop these milestones within a certain time-frame. The developmental milestones could be categorized into various segments. They are-

  • Speech Skills
  • Auditory Skills
  • Language Comprehension Skills
  • Language Expression Skills
  • Motor Skills
  • Social Skills

1-2 years: Speech and Language Milestones

Copy of Copy of Copy of VERBAL ROUTINESto get your toddler talking..1

During the second year, toddlers are moving around more, and are aware of themselves and their surroundings. Their desire to explore new objects and people also is increasing. During this stage, toddlers will show greater independence; begin to show defiant behavior; recognize themselves in pictures or a mirror; and imitate the behavior of others, especially adults and older children. Toddlers also should be able to recognize the names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions.


Preschool Children’s Speech and Language Development: 2 to 6 years

Preschool Children’s Communication skills are vital to their overall development that lay a foundation for a successful future. Cognition, social interaction, oral-motor development are some of the key factors that influence a child’s communication development. Listening, understanding and using spoken language are the most important components of communication. Developmental milestones outlined below show some of the skills in these areas that mark children’s progress as they learn to communicate. It is also important to note that each child develops at his or her own pace. The following guidelines are intended to give information on general developmental patterns to parents and caregivers.

Download worksheet for kids now

Red Flags for Speech Delays in Babies

Red Flags, Infants are equipped for speech and language development even before birth, partly due to brain readiness, partly because of auditory experiences in the uterus. Children around the world have the same sequence of early language development- Study (University of Washington). This speech language development keeps growing in the exponential pattern, way after the child is born. Each and every activity and sound around the child provide them a new experience of learning.

Every growing MONTH, the child learns new things and their response towards the environment changes. Check out the Speech & Language Milestones ( Birth-1 year).

These changes in the child’s response are very important to track your child’s growth in the speech and language development.  But if you see any of these below RED FLAGS at any of the months mentioned you should please visit your nearby Paediatrician, Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist.

Check if your child has a speech delay: Get a screening test now

Red Flags for Birth – 1 Year: Speech and Language Milestones:

It is important that parents seek advice from a Speech and Language Therapist if:

  • A child does not respond to mothers speech by staring or smiling
  • A child does not achieve neck control until 6 months of age
  • Sucking and feeding is an issue
  • A child does not cry for indicating needs even after 8-9 months
  • Does not respond to name call
  • Does not recognize parents
  • No eye contact while speaking to child

What can you do to help?

  • Check your child’s ability to hear, and pay attention to ear problems and infections, especially when they keep occurring.
  • Reinforce your baby’s communication attempts by looking at him or her, speaking, and imitating his or her vocalizations.
  • Repeat his or her laughter and facial expressions.
  • Teach your baby to imitate actions, such as peekaboo, clapping, blowing kisses, pat-a-cake, itsy bitsy spider, and waving bye-bye. These games teach turn taking that is needed for conversation.
  • Talk while you are doing things, such as dressing, bathing, and feeding (e.g., “Mommy is washing Sam’s hair”; “Sam is eating carrots”; “Oh, these carrots are good!”).
  • Talk about where you are going, what you will do once you get there, and who and what you’ll see (e.g., “Sam is going to Grandma’s house. Grandma has a dog. Sam will pet the dog.”).
  • Teach animal sounds (e.g., “A cow says ‘moo’”).
  • Communicate with your child in the language you are most comfortable using.

Red flags for 1-2 years: Speech and Language Milestones:

Talk with your doctor or child health nurse if your child:

  • Is tripping over her feet a lot and this is not improving
  • Isn’t yet walking
  • Cannot hold a spoon with enough purpose to get food into his/her mouth
  • Can’t pick up small objects with a pincer grip
  • Can’t build a tower of 3 to 4 bricks
  • Is only using up to 20 single words consistently
  • Doesn’t understand simple directions (this does not mean she will always do as you tell her)
  • Often runs very far away (out of sight) or climbs extremely high without hesitation.

Download our App- Speech Doctorto detect if your child has a speech-language delay. Click on the image.

What you can do to help?

  • Your child will love to turn knobs and push buttons as this helps him to learn to use his muscles and also to feel that he can manage new things. Protect the TV and other appliances and give him his own toys with knobs and buttons to press.
  • Your child will be interested in playing with simple puzzles.
  • Your child will enjoy toys that link together, such as trains with carriages and stacking toys, hammer and peg sets, and filling and emptying containers.
  • He/She will love to look at pictures, particularly if you name familiar objects and animals and allow him to turn the pages sometimes.
  • Favorite conversations involve talking about what he is looking at, doing or feeling. Your child learns more words when you chat this way, rather than when you ask questions. Try to avoid questions that you already know the answer to. Instead of asking ‘what’s that?’ you might say ‘oh, it’s a yummy apple’.
  • Play games where he has lots of opportunities to say ‘no’, such as ‘Is daddy under the bed?’
  • Provide toys, such as plastic fruit, animals and cars, so he can learn about difference and sameness.
  • Young children love to copy others and to dress up, and play with toys that allow them to copy household activity, for example telephone, dolls and washing up.
  • Allow your child to play by himself at times without interference so that he learns to entertain himself. He will ask for help if he wants it.

To see more related videos to speech language delay:

Myths About Children Who Are Learning to Talk!

1. Using Gestures/Signs and Pictures will inhibit my child’s language development.

2.Boys speak later than Girls.

3. Talking to young children in very short phrases  ( aka Telegraphic Speech) will help them.

4. Flashcards must be used to  enhance a child’s speech and language development.

5. Late talking children who are otherwise not delayed will ‘catch up’!

6. Exposing children to 2 or more languages will cause a speech delay.

7. Siblings of speech delayed children will have a delay.

8. Speech Therapy can make ANY child talk.

9. Twins have a higher risk of speech-language delays.

10. Speech Therapy Doesn’t work.

To know more about Tantrums in Children with Speech Delays

What is Speech Therapy?

Communication is unique. We have a flexible system of putting across ideas, feelings, and beliefs in spoken and written form. When this get’s disrupted it is called a “Communication Disorder”.

A Communication Disorder affects the understanding of spoken or written language. Skills of speaking ability, speech sounds, fluent speech, voice, mental abilities, or swallowing. For example, Hearing Loss, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cleft Lip, and Palate. Therapy is to provide intervention for persons with communication disorders. Speech Therapy begins after a diagnosis of a communication disorder. A Speech Therapist works one-to-one with many methods and exercises.

Who is a Speech (Language) Therapist?

Movies such as – the King’s Speech- provide a picture of just a slice of what a speech (language) therapist may be engaged in. Through such mo

vies, the public may assume that a therapist just talks and trains a person to speak better.

However, a speech-language therapist will work towards providing better communication, speech, language, feeding and swallowing skills to individuals across age groups. They work towards providing an improved quality of life for several of their clients.

This is a specialized allied health service wherein the therapist receives a Bachelor’s and Masters’ degree to provide the particular service. A Speech-language therapist may also be trained in audiology (at the graduate or and/or postgraduate levels).

How do Speech (language) therapists provide intervention?

Based on the setting (as mentioned above) the Speech therapist is working, the environment for therapy or intervention may vary. The training provided by the therapist may be directed towards the client or caregiver.

A therapy session would focus on providing activities based on the present goals (called short terms goals). They will be reinforced throughout the session, which is typically 45 mins to an hour long.

Some Important related blogs related to speech language delay

1SpecialPlace provides online consultation via telepractice. You can email at info@1specialplace.com for further information/queries.  The Speech Doctor App, an app that allows for self-assessment of speech delay can be downloaded here.