Language Delays

Little boy in glasses with first book an

What is a language delay?

 

A language delay occurs when a child’s language is developing slower than other children of the same age, but it is following the typical pattern of development. For example, a child may be 4 years of age, but understanding and/or using language typical of a child who may be only 2.5 years of age. A child may have a receptive language (understanding of language) delay or an expressive language (use of language) delay.

 

What are characteristics of a language delay?​​​​

  • Late to talk and first words do not appear by the age of 15-18 months.

  • The child  does not go on to develop new words quickly.

  • By two years of age, the child is saying less than 50 words.

  • The child is not using more than two word combinations.

  • The child has difficulty understanding what is being said to them.

  • The child has has difficulties following instructions.

  • The child’s language sounds immature for their age.

  • Difficulties attending at group time at kindergarten or school.

  • Difficulty answering questions.

  • Difficulty sequencing words together in sentences.

  • Difficulty getting their message across.

  • Uses incorrect grammar (e.g. ‘me want that red one’ instead of ‘I want the red one’).

 

Why should I seek therapy for my child with a language delay? 

Diagnosis alone is NOT the solution. It simply opens the door to getting the help that is needed by arming all involved with the relevant information. 

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If your child has delays in language, it is recommended that you consult a Speech Language Pathology specializing in Early Intervention to receive an evaluation to see if they require therapeutic intervention.