Speech and Language Development Homestead, FL

Speech and Language Development

There are certain factors that may increase the risk of speech and language development in a child in the 18- to 30-month-
old age range, and with normal intelligence, will have continuing language problems. These factors include:

Receptive language

Understanding language generally comes before expression and use. However, some studies have
shown that late-talking children, after a year, should be able to understand the language at their age
level. This differentiates the late-bloomers from the children who have true language delays.

Use of gestures

One study has found that the number of gestures used by late-talking children with low expressive
language can indicate later language abilities. Children with a greater number of gestures used for
different communication purposes are more likely to catch up with peers.

Age of diagnosis

More than one study has indicated that the older the child at time of diagnosis of language delay, the
less positive the outcome. Obviously, older children in a study have had a longer time to bloom than
younger children but have not done so, indicating that the language delay may be more serious. Also,
if a child is only developing slowly during an age range when other children are rapidly progressing
(e.g. 24-30 months), that child will be falling farther behind.

Progress in language development

Although a child may be slow in language development, he or she should still be doing new things
with language at least every month. New words may be added. The same words may be used for
different purposes. For example, “bottle” may one day mean “That is my bottle,” the next, “I want my
bottle,” and the next week, “Where is my bottle? I don’t see it.” Words may be combined into longer
speech (“want bottle” “no bottle”), or such longer speech may occur more often.

What should you do as a parent?

Parents don’t have to rely on the predictions of others or to guess that their child will be just like a
friend’s and eventually catch up in language development. If you are concerned about your child’s
speech and language development, (s)he should come see our speech-language pathologist certified
by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for a professional evaluation.

If you’re interesting in learning more about if speech and language development is right for your child, call us today at (305) 248-8600.

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