Speech and language disorders are some of the most common disabilities in young children. They are also often preventable and reversible when detected early enough and given proper intervention. Unfortunately many children go undiagnosed and the disorder becomes more difficult to address as the years roll on.
Children with speech and language disorders, when given the appropriate intervention at an early age, can perform academically and socially on par with their peers.
Parents, care givers, and educators should look out for certain signs the child may have a speech disorder.
- The child is not socialising: Babies and toddlers from as young as a year old will usually try to make contact and interact with people around them. If the child consistently does not interact with other people even when people try to interact with them, parents need to take note.
- The child’s vocalising is limited: By the age of 18 months to 2 years old, the child should be able to clearly vocalise words that adults can understand.
- The child struggles with words: By the age of 2 years old, the child should be able to speak a variety of words and even combine words together. By the age of 3, the child should be able to vocalise more clearly and string words together without much effort.
Children develop at different rates, and by themselves the signs are not conclusive. Taken as a whole, along with other signs, parents should consider having the child assessed for speech disorders. The earlier it can be detected, the earlier the proper intervention can be administered. With the right help at the right time, speech and language delays and disorders can be managed, reversed, or sometimes even prevented.
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