Speech, in simple terms, is a verbal expression consists of words, which are combinations of letters and sounds. Speaking occurs with harmony of the organs and parts such as mouth, tongue, jaw. Speaking develops gradually from the moment of birth.
- 6-month-old babies follow the sounds they hear with their eyes.
- The 9-month-old babies start to react and they turn to the voices and listen as if they understand.
- 12-month-old babies begin to fulfil single directions gradually.
- 18-month-old babies prefer pointing at things as a reaction to asked questions.
- A 15-month-old baby should say at least 3 words.
Children 2 years of age start to recognize the objects that are shown or asked. For example, when the child is asked to show his/her mouth is, he/she can show it. Children can show their nose easily when asked. They can show their eyes as well. By the age of three, they start asking who, what, where and where questions.
Children don’t have a specific reason for late speaking. It can occur due to genetic, sensorial neurological, neuropsychiatric factors.
The pathological factors that cause the child’s late speaking are,
- Having Down’s Syndrome
- Being born with cleft palate,
- Having sensory loss and hearing problems,
- The effect of family genetic factors,
- or It may be due to the child’s developmental process.
- Child being have to learn 2 different languages as his/her parents’ are native in different languages.
- Excessive attention to the child can lead to late talking. The child is not given the opportunity to speak.
- Likelihood of having autism.
Diagnosis of Late Talking
- 12 months baby not to start pointing.
- Failure of a 15-month-old baby in saying at least 3 words, or not looking at the object asked by parents.
- Failure of a 18 month old in saying mom and dad and not being able to fulfil basic instructions.
- A 2-year-old child should be able to say 25 words. Otherwise it can be said that he/she is a late talker.
- At the age of 3, the child should use 200 words, express his / her requests in two words, and not keep using the same words constantly. If your child is having a problem with all of the things mentioned above, he/she is likely to be a late talker.
Boys are more likely to be a late talker than girls. Without any other factors, genetic factors and having a member in the family that has the problem can lead to late talking. In this case, parents should be trained as a treatment method and so they can to be able to contribute to the language development of the child. In order for the child to gain language proficiency, the family and people around him/her must be in constant contact with the child. If the child is pointing at something he/she wants, it must be asked from him/her to say it.