Every child has strengths and challenges and every child develops at their own pace. However, there are certain milestones that we expect our children to hit in order to confirm that they are developing well. This is very true for speech and language development. When children are young, it can be difficult to tell if your child is developing at a good rate, or more slowly than their peers.
How can I tell if my child has a language problem or is just “late-bloomer”?
It can be difficult for a parent to tell whether a child is a late bloomer or has hearing loss, an expressive language disorder or other underlying cause of speech delay. The speech-language pathologists at the Centre MosaÏque de Québec will be able to help you determine if your child is experiencing speech or language delays. The earlier your child gets help, the greater their progress will be. And if they turn out to be a late bloomer, the extra attention to their speech will not have hurt in any way.
What is a Language Delay?
A language delay occurs when a child’s language is developing slower than other children of the same age, but it is following the typical pattern of development. Some red flags to watch out for are:
- Late to talk and first words do not appear by the age of 15-18 months.
- First words appear but then new words don’t come quickly after that
- by two years of age, the child is saying fewer than 50 words and is not using any two word combinations (e.g.‘more drink’, ‘Daddy gone’, ‘car go’).
- The child has difficulty understanding what is being said to them and has difficulties following instructions.
- The child’s language sounds immature for their age.
- Difficulties attending at group time at kindergarten or school.
- The very young child may have difficulties with eye contact, attending to activities and to speech and using
sounds and gestures.
- Difficulty answering questions.
- Difficulty sequencing words together in sentences.
- Difficulty getting their message across.
- Uses incorrect grammar (e.g. ‘me want that red one’ instead of ‘I want the red one’).
How is a language delay evaluated?
The speech-language pathologist will evaluate your child’s speech and language skills within the context of total development. They will do standardized tests and informal activities and look for milestones in speech and language development.
They will evaluate :
- what your child understands (called receptive language)
- what your child can say (called expressive language)
- if your child is attempting to communicate in other ways, such as pointing, head shaking, gesturing, etc.
You know your child best. You don’t have to wait and see if you think there might be a problem. And you don’t have to guess if your child will catch up. The speech-language pathologists at the Centre Mosaïque de Québec are happy to discuss your concerns, what to expect and when to seek help.
Make an appointment
The Centre Mosaïque is committed to providing prompt care to meet your needs. Feel free to contact us to find out how our speech therapists can help you.