A child is able to communicate far before they speak their first words. Every smile, cry, or babble helps a parent understand their needs. Every child develops at a different rate, but they are usually able to do certain things at certain ages. These skills are called a child’s developmental milestones. These are used as a guideline to see how a child develops. Due to varying reasons, a child may have a delay in their language skills as they develop. Some of these include hearing loss, developmental delays in other areas, or autism spectrum disorder. 1 out of 5 children will learn to talk or use words later than other children their age. Some children may also show behavioral problems because they are frustrated that they can't express their wants or needs. A child’s language includes two different areas: expressive language (what the child is able to say), and receptive language (what the child is able to understand). A language delay can occur in one or both of these areas. These delays are sometimes temporary and may resolve on their own or with some extra assistance from family members. It is always important to spend lots of time playing, reading, and talking with your baby or toddler to help expand their language and communication skills.
If you are concerned that your child may need more help to learn to communicate or improve their language skills, they may benefit from an evaluation with a trained speech language pathologist. At MBSH Therapy & Wellness, we offer speech therapy services for children to address language skills at all levels. For information on available speech therapy services at Missouri Baptist Therapy and Wellness, call 573-468-1340.