Early intervention is the key to get your child to start talking. Many therapists and parents recommend Otsimo Speech Therapy as it offers a wide range of activities for children of all ages. This article will briefly explain what speech delay is and give you practical advice on how to use Otsimo Speech Therapy with your late talker.
What is Speech Delay?
A speech delayed child, or a late talker , is a toddler who has a good understanding of language, typically developing play skills, motor skills, thinking skills, and social skills, but has a limited spoken vocabulary for their age. The difficulty late talking children have is specifically with spoken or expressive language. This group of children can be very puzzling because they have all of the building blocks for spoken language, yet they don’t talk or talk very little.
On the other hand, a language delay is much broader and refers to the entire system of expressing and receiving information in a meaningful way. Language delay is about understanding and being understood through communication — verbal, nonverbal, and written, which is different than speech that explicitly refers to the verbal expression of language and includes articulation.
Although problems in speech and language differ , they often overlap. A child with a language problem may be able to pronounce words well but cannot put more than two words together. Another child’s speech may be difficult to understand, but they may use words and phrases to express ideas. And another child may speak well but have difficulty following directions. There are a few reasons why a child may have a speech delay. For instance, a speech delay in an otherwise normally developing child might be due to an oral impairment, like problems with the tongue or palate. And a short frenulum (the fold beneath the tongue) can limit tongue movement for speech production.
Many kids with speech delays have oral-motor problems. These happen when there’s a problem in the areas of the brain responsible for speech, making it hard to coordinate the lips, tongue, and jaw to produce speech sounds. These kids also might have other oral-motor problems, such as feeding difficulties. Hearing problems are also commonly related to delayed speech. That’s why an audiologist should test a child’s hearing whenever there’s a speech concern. Kids who have trouble hearing may have trouble articulating and understanding, imitating, and using language.
Other causes behind speech delay include:
- Psychosocial deprivation (the child doesn’t spend enough time talking with adults)
- Being a twin
- Elective mutism (the child just doesn’t want to talk)
- Cerebral palsy (a movement disorder caused by brain damage)
##What are the Signs of Speech Delay?
The signs of early speech delay are categorized into age-related milestones, beginning at the age of 12 months and continuing through early adolescence. It may be the case that they have speech or language delay if your child:
- by 12 months: isn’t using gestures, such as pointing or waving bye-bye
- by 18 months: prefers gestures over vocalizations to communicate
- by 18 months: has trouble imitating sounds has trouble understanding simple verbal requests
- by two years: can only imitate speech or actions and doesn’t produce words or phrases spontaneously
- by two years: says only certain sounds or words repeatedly and can’t use oral language to communicate more than their immediate needs
- by two years: can’t follow simple directions
- by two years: has an unusual tone of voice (such as raspy or nasal sounding)
Moreover, if your child is more difficult to understand than expected for their age:
- Parents and regular caregivers should understand about half of a child’s speech at two years and three-quarters at three years.
- A child should be mostly understood by four years old, even by people who don’t know the child.
You can find out if your child is on par with their age group through the screener on Otsimo Speech Therapy. Try it out, and you will get a personalized report with actionable advice.
How to use Otsimo Speech Therapy for Children with Speech Delay?
Experts recommend using Otsimo Speech Therapy every day for 5 to 15 minutes or a minimum of 3 times a week. It is important to ensure that the child is in a comfortable, noise-free environment and away from any distractions.
It is recommended to take the developmental test initially, so the plan is customized to your child’s needs. As children with speech delay mostly experience oral-motor problems, Otsimo Speech Therapy segments like “SYL-LA-BLES” or “Imitating sounds” are a great way to start. Syllables and vowels come first in speech development and act as building blocks. The child can combine the sounds to make easy animal sounds like Moo, Baa. A fun and powerful way to help your child start talking. The Tongue Acrobatics exercise category helps your child strengthen their oral muscles, which greatly help in producing speech.
You can start by choosing very simple words and practicing them regularly. Repetition is the key to achieve milestones and ensure steady progress.
Last Updated: 25 June 2021