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Some children appear to develop well in all respects, but have a delay in language or speech development. These children may present some of the specific language disorders, a bunch of pathologies that present marked differences between one another.
In addition to the concrete pathology, the acquisition of language is a process that is acquired in an evolutionary way and according to the maturational development and age of the child.
A child has language delay when, from a quantitative (amount of vocabulary) or qualitative (different areas of language) point of view, is below the average figure for children his age. If we take into account the age of the child, the delay in language occurs when the child reaches the age of one and a half years and does not say any words, or when at 2 years of age he cannot join two words to form sentences simple, or shows no intention to communicate with others either verbally or through gestures.
The criteria that have been established to determine a specific language disorder in a child, it is essential to rule out, through a differential diagnosis, a series of criteria such as:
- No existence of hearing impairment.
- No presence of neurological disorder.
- An Intellectual Quotient (IQ) greater than 80.
- The non-existence of other areas of development affected such as memory, rhythm, motor skills, ...
When the delay of the child appears only in speech we find some characteristics that can be observed in these cases:
- Alteration in the order of the syllables (cocholate for chocolate).
- Assimilation of consonants (fufanda by scarf).
- Absence of consonant groups (I have for I have).
- Substitutions (pistin per pool).
But if in addition to speech, the child also has language impairments, will have difficulties in the use of pronouns, articles, verb tenses, ... its language being very difficult to understand.
In that case, we are talking about a dysphasia. Children with language delay, whether mild or severe, must be diagnosed by a specialist as soon as possible, since early intervention will avoid the appearance of possible sequelae that we can translate into speech difficulties (stuttering), logofobias (fear of speaking), dyslexias (difficulties in reading and writing), etc. Language delay is one of the most frequent conditions in a Speech Therapy and Phoniatrics consultation.
Maria Jose Ortí Muñoz
Contributor to our site
You can read more articles similar to Language delay in children, in the Language category - On-site speech therapy.