Speech delay may be the sign of a medical issue. Watch for important milestones.
- 2-3 months: cooing in response to you
- 3-4 months: random babbling
- 5-6 months: babbling in a pattern
- 12 months: starting to say one or two words
- 18 months: saying 10-15 words
- 24 months: saying two-word sentences
Things to Check if Milestones Aren’t Met
- Hearing. Is she receiving the signal to process sound?
- Communication. Is it just a speech delay? Is she communicating with facial expressions and emotions?
Speech therapy teaches the skills of getting the child to talk. It’s typically a 30-minute class a few times a week, based on the child’s need. The child and family learn how to get the chatting started, and the family continues the techniques outside of class.
Children with speech delay may have social-emotional issues or development difficulty if the problem isn’t addressed as early as possible. Don’t justify it because a relative spoke late. You want to be sure it’s an isolated speech delay and not another condition.
Screen time and handheld devices don’t teach children how to communicate properly with other humans. Give your child a chance to interact with you to help language development.
Address any missed milestones with your pediatrician. You are the best advocate for your child. Don’t shy away from bringing up developmental questions with your child’s doctor. Get the proper treatment so your child can get up to speed.
Listen as Dr. Naveen Mehrotra joins Melanie Cole, MS, to explain speech delay.