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Common questions parents have regarding overcoming speech delay

Updated: Oct 17, 2023




Which doctor should I consult for speech delay?

If you suspect speech delay in your child you should consult a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). They are experts in communication. They work with everyone from babies to adults and help with a range of disorders that can lead to speech delay. Your pediatrician can also give you a referral to see a speech therapist. An SLP will perform a comprehensive assessment to diagnose the speech and language disorder in the child and advise you about further management like frequency of speech therapy sessions, home training plan and parent training programs, etc.


How common are speech delays?

Speech delays are one of the most common developmental delays in children from ages 3 years to 16 years. About 1 in every 6 children now is having a speech delay. The main causes of speech delay that are coming out are lack of a language-rich environment, excessive screen time, associated neurological or genetic disorders, hearing loss, and comorbidities like psychiatric causes. However, despite the higher prevalence with adequate and intensive speech therapy speech delays can be resolved.


Is speech delay considered a disability?

The answer to this depends on the cause of speech delay as speech delay can be due to a range of conditions from developmental delay to disabilities like autism, down syndrome, learning disabilities, or hearing impairment.



Is speech delay considered autism?

No, if your child has a speech delay it does not always mean that it is due to autism, as speech delay can be due to many other causes like developmental delay, hearing defects, motor incoordination, and a lot more and out of all these causes autism can be a cause so before labeling the child as autistic you should visit your pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist and they will perform various tests and use various tools to assess the underlying cause of speech delay and help your child overcome it.


Why do boys have a speech delay?

A major reason behind boys having speech delays more commonly is evolution. Girls tend to speak at earlier ages with a larger vocabulary than boys due to the roles each gender has to play in society. Boys at an early age most often are engaged in non-communicative plays like playing with blocks or playing with cars and hence they are often left out of the conversation. Girls, on the other hand, are more fascinated by the human voice and they tend to interact more as compared to boys.



What food is good for speech delay?


Food containing certain nutrients can be quite helpful-

  • Omega 3 and 6 in fish oil and walnuts improve brain function, thinking ability, and memory.

  • Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnut, etc, are rich in Vit E and boost memory.

  • Seeds like pumpkin seeds (increases concentration) and sunflower seeds (brain-boosting snack)

  • Vit B12 helps in the regulation of serotonin which is very important for speech development



Is speech delay a learning disability?

Speech delay is not a learning disability. A learning disability is difficulty in comprehending or processing information. It can be an indication of a learning disability or if ignored can lead to a learning disability as the child would have difficulty in communicating and hence, they may lack in studies and in interacting in social situations thereby this can lead to a disability in their lives ahead.


Can a child with a speech delay catch up?

Yes, in about 60-70% of the cases a child with a speech delay can catch up and be cured if diagnosed early and received intensive intervention. You can visit a speech-language pathologist as they will assess, diagnose and recommend programs that will help your child communicate better thereby helping them cope socially as well and speech delay can be fixed.


What are the signs of speech delay?

At 2 yrs of age- if the child uses gestures over words to communicate or they babble and their immediate needs are difficult to understand, or if they have difficulty understanding simple instructions.

At 3 yrs of age- the child won’t ask for things by name, and it would be difficult to understand the child even if you live with them.

At 4 yrs of age- the child has difficulty learning new words, they often complete sentences with general words like 'stuff' or 'things or they would miss out important words out of sentences.


Is speech delay parents' fault?


No, you did not cause your child's speech delay. Your child's speech delay is not your fault. There are many causes of speech and language delay in children. It can be genetic, physical, psychological, etc. However, there are rare circumstances where the child has experienced neglect from the parent, abuse, lack of speech and language stimulation at home, or an environment that is not conducive to his learning. Parents can really help the child get back on track and achieve his speech and language milestones on time. You should interact with your kid, play with them, and plan some family time activities to stimulate speech and the overall development of the kid.


What can I do at home to improve speech delay for my child?


There are a bunch of techniques and play activities that speech therapists use to improve speech in children. These activities can be carried out at home by parents. Consistency and patience are key in speech therapy activities. Tailor the activities to your child's needs and make it more fun and interesting.


Join our WhatsApp community to learn more about activities and techniques to carry out at home with your children.


Here is a video of a fun and simple activity that can target many speech therapy goals. Follow us on Instagram- @soundericindia for more such videos.


What parents have to say about Sounderic?


Early intervention is of utmost need when it comes to helping a child with speech delay. Asking for professional opinions is the best option. At Sounderic, we aim to provide the best speech therapy services and occupational therapy services and it's not just us who says so.


Here is a video testimonial from a parent of a child with speech delay, talking about how online speech therapy sessions helped their child.


Speech therapy can be a transformative journey, providing you with the key to unlock the power of effective communication. Don't let speech challenges hold you back. Get in touch with us and book a FREE consultation.


We provide online speech therapy sessions for children with speech delay and an excellent parent training program. Please visit us at www.sounderic.com or WhatsApp us at +91 96444 66635




We place a strong emphasis on community, and we'd be delighted to welcome you into our fold. Explore our Facebook group, which is a guide for all parents on speech therapy, where you'll find tips and tricks on how to work with your child at home. Come join us on our quest to make us all better communicators.






References

1. How to investigate and manage the child who is slow to speak Jamiu O Busari, pediatrician, and Nielske M Weggelaar, specialist registrar in pediatrics.


2. Sex differences in early communication development: behavioral and neurobiological indicators of more vulnerable communication system development in boys by Shir Adani and Maja Cepanec.





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