01 Jul What are the symptoms of a Speech Delay in Early Childhood
The symptoms of a Speech Delay in Early Childhood will depend on the cause of the speech disorder. Several symptoms may present which can include but may not be limited to:
- A child that “pauses” during speech – frequently stopping and starting new sentences;
- A child that shows visible frustrations when trying to communicate/speak;
- Blinking excessively during speech can be another symptom of a speech delay in early childhood
- Elongating words when speaking so basically to draw out to a greater length the words that are being sp-o-o-o-k-e-n (spoken);
- When the child add’s extra sounds to words or extra words to a sentence (often these will not have meaning or fit into the structure of the sentence);
- Repeating sounds, which is most often seen in people who stutter;
- Making jerky or “odd” movements whilst talking. These movements will more often than not involve the Childs head.
- Hoarseness, or speaking with a raspy or gravelly sounding voice – almost sounding forced or uncomfortable.
In very Early Childhood (as young as 18 months) symptoms of a potential speech delay would include aspects such as:
- Not using gestures, such a pointing or waving bye-bye at a young age;
- A child that prefers to gesture over vocalisations to community e.g. a child that will take their parents hand to point at an item they want instead of the child asking for it;
- Young child (18-24 months) that struggle with the imitation of sounds
- Young child (18-24 months) that has trouble with understanding simple verbal requests or instructions;
- By age 24 months (years) the child can only imitate speech or actions and doesn’t produce words or phrases spontaneously
Other symptoms of a potential speech delay become more visible by age 2 years when:
- The child is visible struggling to follow instruction or direction;
- When the child says only some sounds or words repeatedly and can’t seem to use oral language to communicate more than their immediate needs; or
- When the child’s speech sounds nasally or raspy.