Children with a language delay follow the normal language development pattern but will reach the language development milestones at a slower rate than others. Usually a child with a language delay will have trouble building their vocabulary, structuring their sentences properly and understanding what is being said to them. A language delay can occur on its own or be part of a broader developmental condition.
As all children’s rate of learning and speech and language development varies somewhat it can be difficult for a parent to determine if their child has a language delay when comparing them to others of the same the age. However as a general rule of thumb, if they are reaching the major language development milestones much later than their peers they are regarded as having a language delay.
A child should begin to use their first words between 12 and 18 months.
A child of 24 months who has less than 50 words would be considered delayed.
Spectrum Health Speech and Language Therapists can carry out an assessment on your child to evaluate their language development according to a language development checklist and will provide the appropriate therapy if required.
TREATMENT: Speech and Language Therapists will tailor a treatment programme to your child's individual need depending on their age and the extent of the delay. In young children SLTs often work through the parents supporting parents on how to create language learning opportunities at home in their daily routine. In older children Speech and Language Therapist will work directly with your child supporting their vocabulary and sentence structure through language a based activities in the clinic. You will be given exercises to continue at home so that your child continues to make progress between treatment sessions.
Child Friendly: All exercises and treatment modalities that we will be child friendly and usually involve using pictures and games to help encourage language development and motivate your child.
Guidance: We will guide you on the best ways to successfully transfer the skills learned in our clinic setting to everyday settings.
Support: Worksheets will be provided each week in order to encourage and facilitate regular practice and improvement at home between your child’s sessions. At all stages throughout the treatment plan, we will provide detailed guidance for you on how to support your child’s language development between sessions depending on what stage of treatment they are at.
EXPERTISE: Language Delay is one of the most common speech and language issues that children present with. All of Spectrum Health’s Paediatric Speech and Language therapists are qualified from University with a B.Sc. or M.sc (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy and have ample experience working with children who have language delay.