Language Delay

A language delay is a type of communication disorder.

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Language Delay: Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

What is a language delay? A language delay is a type of communication disorder. Your child may have a language delay if they don’t meet the language developmental milestones for their age. Their language abilities may be developing at a slower rate than most children’s. They may have trouble expressing themselves or understanding others. Their delay may involve a combination of hearing, speech, and cognitive impairments. Language delays are quite common. According to the University of Michigan Health System, delayed speech or language development affects 5 to 10 percent of preschool-aged children. Types A language delay can be receptive, expressive, or a combination of both. A receptive language deficit happens when your child has difficulty understanding language. An expressive language disorder happens when your child has difficulty communicating verbally. Symptoms If your child has a language delay, they won’t reach language milestones at a typical age. Their specific symptoms and missed milestones depend on their age and the nature of their language delay. Common symptoms of a language delay include: • Not babbling by the age of 15 months • Not talking by the age of 2 years • An inability to speak in short sentences by the age of 3 years • Difficulty following directions • Poor pronunciation or articulation • Difficulty putting words together in a sentence • Leaving words out of a sentence Causes Language delays in children have many possible causes. In some instances, more than one factor contributes to a language delay. Some common causes include the following: • Hearing impairment: It’s common for children who have a hearing impairment to have a language impairment as well. If they can’t hear the language, learning to communicate can be difficult. • Autism: While not all children with autism have language delays, autism frequently affects communication. • Intellectual disability: A variety of intellectual disabilities can cause language delays. For instance, dyslexia and other learning disabilities lead to language delays in some cases. • Several psychosocial issues: These can cause language delays, as well. For example, severe neglect can lead to problems with language development. Risk factors for language delay Potential risk factors for speech and language problems include: • Being male • Being born prematurely • Having a low birth weight • Having a family history of speech or language problems • Having parents with lower levels of education How it’s diagnosed After conducting a thorough medical assessment, your child’s doctor will refer you to a speech-language pathologist. They will perform a comprehensive assessment of your child’s expressive and receptive language to determine if your child has a language delay. The exam will focus on various forms of verbal and non-verbal communication and use standardized and informal measures. After completing a speech and language evaluation, the language pathologist may recommend other exams. For example, a hearing exam can help them determine if your child has a hearing impairment. Your child may have hearing problems that have been overlooked, especially if they’re very young. Treatment After diagnosis, your child’s treatment plan will likely involve speech and language therapy. A licensed speech-language pathologist will complete an evaluation to determine the types of problems that your child is facing. This information will help them develop and implement a treatment plan. If your child has underlying health conditions, their doctor may recommend other treatments as well. For example, they may recommend an evaluation by a neuropsychologist. Tips for encouraging language development It may not be possible to prevent all language delays. Hearing impairment and learning disabilities may not always be preventable. Follow these tips to encourage language development in your child: • Talk to your child from the time they’re born. • Respond to your child’s babbling when they’re a baby. • Sing to your child, even when they’re a baby. • Read aloud to your child. • Answer your child’s questions. Content Source

Baby developmental milestones chart: 7 to 12 months

  Though you’ll find some specifics, like when babies sit up , “normal development” refers to these skills: Gross motor skills: using large groups of muscles, balancing, and changing position (sitting, standing, walking, etc.) Fine motor skills: using hands for smaller, more refined movements (playing, eating, etc.) Language skills: communicating via body language and understanding what others are saying Cognitive skills: more refined thinking skills, like reasoning and remembering Social skills: expressing feelings and responding to the feelings of others one in six children will have a developmental delay, but that doesn’t mean your baby will face long-term issues. Missing a few monthly milestones is not cause for panic. There are many factors that influence when infant milestones happen. In most cases, your baby just needs a little extra time. Babies born prematurely, for example, are more likely to hit each milestone counting from their due date, not their day of birth. Talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns. 7 Month Baby Milestones In month 7, baby’s eyesight is improving, allowing for more coordination.  Transfering objects from one hand to another While your baby has explored objects by touch and mouth for months now, around month 7, baby will start transferring objects from from one hand to another, displaying spatial awareness. Improving vision Babies eye control and eye-body coordination becomes more refined. Improved depth perception allows babies to reach for toys and other objects. What’s more, babies’ color vision should be fairly strong by this age! 8 Month Baby Milestones In month 8, baby is on the move and better able to communicate with you.  Learning object permanence Their brains continue to amaze as they start to understand object permanence. This is the psychological phenomenon that helps folks understand that when something disappears from view, it doesn’t mean that it’s gone forever. (In other words, when mommy leaves the room, she will come back.) It may seem like small potatoes to grown adults, but think of the amazing intellectual leaps this takes for infants! Crawling The developmental milestone of crawling may not happen all at once or in a linear fashion—and some babies will only crawl for a short period of time. Others babies won’t crawl the way you’d expect to, crawling sideways or scooting their bottom along the floor. Crawling is very important—it not only strengthens baby’s muscles, but it also improves baby’s brain function. It’s tempting to hold baby up and try to teach them to walk—it’s such an exciting time—but a little bit of patience can really help baby. Experts saycrawling improves hand-eye coordination, plus improves comprehension, concentration, and memory.  Saying first words Your baby will be communicating now more than ever by the end of these months. She will be repeating sounds like “bababa” or, very adorably, “mamama.” (Though fair warning, mamas: Baby is likely to say Dada first.) Additionally, words start to carry meaning at this stage. You’ll find she understands simple words like, “no.” What’s more, she’ll begin to use her fingers to point, further associating movement with communication and comprehension. 9 Month Baby Milestones In month 9, baby’s brain is working hard—he/she is starting to use objects for their intended purpose.  Standing Babies should be able to stand holding on to your hands. You may even witness your baby pulling himself up. Improved dexterity Those jerky arm movements have long since disappeared. Babies are now able to wield objects more efficiently. Their improved dexterity might mean banging or shaking toys (or anything else they can get their hands on! Careful!)  This baby milestone also indicates increased cognitive function. You may notice baby beginning to use household objects for their intended purpose. For example, they may mimic drinking out of a cup (or actually do so!). This will also become apparent with pretend play, which should be just about starting. Look forward to baby pretending to talk on the phone and engaging in other imaginative play. 10 Month Baby Milestones In month 10, the fun really begins—baby understands and engages in simple games.  Cruising Baby may be walking while holding onto you or furniture. Playing interactive games By this point, babies can understand simple games (think peekaboo), find hidden objects, or take things in and out of a container. Encourage all of these behaviors! They will help develop those all important fine motor skills and every bit of playtime is also learning time. 11 Month Baby Milestones In month 11, you’ll notice baby’s flourishing personality and his/her desire to explore.  Starting to explore Baby will take all of those newfound gross motor skills like sitting, crawling, and cruising to start checking everything out. No cabinet or shelf is safe, my friends! Take steps to baby proof and make extra sure cleaning supplies, toiletries, and medicine cabinets are well off limits for baby. Better yet, work on getting any toxic junk out of your house! (See how to make natural cleaners for your home.) Developing their distinct personality Babies start to understand emotions better, reading and reacting to your emotional state. This level of communication and interaction deepens as they are able to use their bourgeoning vocabulary to state what they want and need. 12 Month Baby Milestones In month 12, baby’s brain has more than doubled in size! He/she is walking and talking.  Beginning to walk Here’s another developmental milestone you’ve been waiting for! Around 12 months, babies may begin to walk! They may still need a bit of help or support, but the pitter patter of those precious little feet are on the horizon. Improving language skills Watch out! At this stage, children should start repeating the words you say. They should already have a small vocabulary, and they will be practicing simple gestures like waving bye or shaking their head yes and no. Baby Milestones Chart Month   Milestones Month 1: Baby is getting acquainted with the outside world.     • Reacting to sights and sounds • Displaying reflexes Month 2: Baby’s development centers around his relationship with you and other caregivers.    • Paying attention to faces and recognizing people • Cooing • Smiling • Supporting their own head Month 3: Baby’s working on her coordination.    • Connecting sound, sight, and movement • Grasping objects Month 4: Baby’s cognitive, social, and motor skills start to develop at a rapid pace.     • Copying sounds, movements, and facial expressions • Rolling over • Babbling • Laughing Month 5: Baby’s becoming more expressive and preparing for crawling, pulling himself up, and walking.    • Smiling at the mirror • Expressing new emotions • Refining basic movements Month 6: Baby’s narrowing in on his communication and motor skills.    • Responding to their own name • Moving… a lot • Sitting Month 7: Baby’s eyesight is improving, allowing for more coordination.    • Transfering objects from one hand to another • Improving vision Month 8: Baby is on the move and better able to communicate with you.     • Learning object permanence • Crawling • Saying first words Month 9: Baby’s brain is working hard—he/she is starting to use objects for their intended purpose.     • Standing • Improved dexterity Month 10: The fun really begins—baby understands and engages in simple games.    • Cruising • Playing interactive games Month 11: You’ll notice baby’s flourishing personality and his/her desire to explore.     • Starting to explore • Developing their distinct personality Month 12: Baby’s brain has more than doubled in size! He/she is walking and talking.     • Beginning to walk • Improving language skills What to Do If Your Baby Isn’t Meeting Milestones All of baby’s firsts are important, but missing a few monthly milestones is usually not cause for panic. Your baby’s doctor will be watching for baby’s developmental milestones during each well child visit. If there’s any concern, the pediatrician may recommend a developmental assessment test to determine if any treatment or intervention is needed. If your doctor gives the all clear, but you still have concerns, get a second opinion. Remember: You know your child’s movements and patterns best. Even if it is just a nagging feeling, never be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns. content source

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Growth spurts: What you need to know

From age 2 to 4, kids add about 2 to 3 inches in height per year and up to 4 pounds in weight. (From ages 1 to 3, growth takes place primarily in the legs and trunk.) Growth percentiles reveal your child's height and weight relative to other children of the same age and sex. For example, a child in the 75th percentile in height is taller than three-fourths of his peers. Growth is seldom steady and even. Instead, it tends to happen in spurts. Among the signs of a growth spurt in progress: Your child may seem hungrier than usual or eat more at a sitting. Your child may nap longer than usual or sleep longer at night. Your child may be crankier or clingier than usual even though he's not ill. It's probably a good idea not to put too much emphasis on growth spurts, however, in justifying behavioral changes over the long term. Typically, parents notice a child's growth spurt after it has already happened. You dress your child in the same pants he wore last week and they no longer reach his ankles, or his feet seem too big for his shoes. It's not uncommon for a young preschooler to grow two clothing sizes in a season. Responding to growth spurts You don't need to do much in response to a growth spurt, other than restock the closet. If your child seems to have a larger appetite than usual, feed her another serving at meals or provide more frequent snacks. Preschoolers often veer between "living on air" and vacuuming up food, depending on their body's needs. Let your child sleep longer for a few days if she seems to need it. What about growing pains? "Growing pains" – dull aches in the legs, especially around the calves, knees, and front of the thighs – are somewhat controversial and probably misnamed. No medical evidence links them to growing muscles or bones. It's possible, however, for growing muscles to feel tight and spasm after a lot of activity. As many as 25 to 40 percent of kids report this feeling, beginning around ages 3 to 5 (and then again in the tween years). Often the pain wakes a child up in the middle of the night. These pains tend to follow days of vigorous outside play. They can be treated with warm compresses, massage, gentle stretching, or acetaminophen. If the pain is severe or lasts more than 24 hours, report it to your child's doctor so he can rule out other causes, including juvenile arthritis, rheumatologic disorders, infection, fractures, and other orthopedic problems.   Content and Feature Image Source: