As a parent, it can be worrying when you notice that your child’s speech development is not on track. Speech development is an essential part of a child’s development and can significantly impact their future success in life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help ensure that your child’s speech development is on track. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of language development in children and provide tips on ensuring your child’s speech development is on track.
What is normal speech development?
Normal speech development follows a set of milestones that typically start as early as six months. It is important to understand these milestones so that you can monitor your child’s progress and determine if they are on track. At six months, most babies should be able to babble and make simple sounds. By one year, children should be able to understand and respond to simple commands such as “come here” and “no.”
By two years, toddlers should be able to form simple sentences with two or three words, such as “Mommy go”. When they’re 3, children should be able to string multiple sentences together and use common words and phrases. As they continue to grow, their language should become increasingly complex.
If you notice that your child is not meeting these milestones or if you have concerns about their speech or language development, it is important to talk to your doctor. Early diagnosis and intervention can help ensure that your child gets the help they need to meet their potential.
Cochlear implants can help
The ability to hear plays an important role in language development. In cases where children are born with a hearing impairment, they may have difficulty developing their speech and language skills. This is because they are unable to hear and process the sounds that they need to learn to form words and language.
Cochlear implants for kids enable children to receive sound and learn how to interpret it as language. Unlike hearing aid devices that amplify the sound, the implant bypasses the inner ear. Instead, it sends a signal to the auditory nerve, allowing children with inner ear damage to perceive sounds.
It is also important to know that these implants can be used in children as young as one year old. Therefore, if their hearing loss is diagnosed early, they can catch up on their language development goals.
Consider therapy for unaddressed trauma
Trauma can play a major role in language development, especially for children. Traumatic events can cause speech to become garbled or even stop altogether, resulting in more pervasive difficulties with language development. Contrary to common belief, trauma is not necessarily linked to abuse or neglect. Trauma can be experiencing a car crash at a young age or witnessing a natural disaster, for example. If you have concerns that trauma may be affecting your child’s speech, therapy can be very beneficial in helping them process the experience and get back on track.
For example, trauma can interfere with a child’s ability to communicate, which can lead to difficulty with language acquisition and comprehension. It can also affect their understanding of social cues and their ability to relate to others. By addressing the trauma, the child can begin to process it and move beyond it. This can open up pathways for the child to gain confidence in their communication and overall language development. With the help of a therapist, children can gain the tools they need to better understand and express themselves.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that can have an effect on a child’s speech development. The symptoms of ADHD can interfere with the ability to focus, pay attention and manage emotions, which can have an impact on speech development. Children with ADHD may exhibit delayed speech and language development, difficulty forming sentences, or trouble speaking in a socially acceptable manner.
A patient-centered culture
One of the key aspects of helping children develop their language skills is creating a safe and comfortable environment. This means having a patient-centered culture in the doctor’s office that focuses on the child and their well-being. It’s important to create an atmosphere where children feel understood, respected, and comfortable expressing themselves.
The doctor should take the time to get to know the child before any medical examination and make them feel at ease. This can include introducing themselves, playing games, or using toys the child enjoys. By providing this warm and inviting atmosphere, children are more likely to open up about their feelings and experiences.
Hearing impairment, trauma, and ADHD are some of the most commonly missed issues that can affect your child’s speech development. The reason why they are often missed is that they are invisible. Nevertheless, with appropriate diagnosis and treatment, these children can rapidly hit their language milestones again.