Language Delay- How to approach

Speech is a small part of Communication skills, which may be verbal or non-verbal. One should identify these issues specifically when a parent is concerned for speech delay or speech related issues. A child may be having only speech issues or may be having a communication disorder of which speech is a part only and is being reported by parents. Many times a child with a speech delay needs just a modification of the environment for a proper stimulation.

Look for the Red Flags of speech delay ( upper limits)

  • No babbling by 1 year
  • No single meaningful words by 18 months
  • Word vocabulary of < 15-20 words by 2 years
  • Not joining phrases (two word ) by 2.5 years

One should screen but should not be in a hurry to put labels.

Milder cases may be observed with environmental modifications.

Merely referring to a speech therapist is not the solution.

Timely referral to a developmental specialist for further assessment should be done. 

Dr Shambhavi Seth, who is a Consultant in Developmental Pediatrics, has discussed the basic approach to a child with a speech delay in a brief and crisp presentation below.

VISIT BLK Pediatric Practice on You Tube

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