If your baby isn't smiling or interacting with others from infancy to 3 months of age, it could be a red flag for a speech or language disorder. Other early social interaction signs to look out for:
- Your infant doesn't babble (between 4 and 7 months).
- Your baby makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (between 7 and 12 months).
- Your infant doesn't seem to understand what you or others are saying (between 7 months and 2 years old).
2. Your child makes only a few sounds, words, or gestures (12 to 18 months).
Most kids are starting to say a few single words between a year and 18 months. Between 1 1/2 and 2, they're typically putting words together. If your child isn't saying anything, or has an extremely limited repertoire of words, he or she may have a speech disorder.
3. You (and others) can't understand what your child is saying (18 months to 2 years). It isn't uncommon for mums and dads to be the only people who understand what their toddler is saying, but between 18 months and 2 years, parents shouldn't have too much difficulty deciphering what their child is saying. By age two years, speech should be clear to familiar listeners.
4. Your child hasnt started to combine two or more words together (by age 2 years).
Usually, children begin combining two or more words together to make "sentences" at about 18 months: "My ball." "Come Mama." If between the ages of 1 1/2 and 3, children aren't pairing two or more words with one another, parents may want to consult a Speech Therapist
5. Your child struggles to say some sounds or words (2.5 years to 4 years).
Some sounds are harder to pronounce than others. For instance, a "K" or a "G" sound doesn't roll off the tongue for an 18-month-old (or even some 2-year-olds). Easier sounds, like 'P,' 'B,' and 'M,' shouldn't be a problem for children after the age of 2. If your 2 1/2-year-old is still having trouble with "easier" sounds, or your 3- to 4-year-old is having trouble with "harder" sounds, you should seek professional advice.
Early intervention is highly supported by research so be sure to see the advise of a Speech Therapist sooner rather than later! The biggest risk of a “wait and see” approach is the loss of opportunity for enrichment during the critical early period of brain development. This is the best time for parents of children with speech and language delays to be seen by a Speech & Language Therapist and to be educated on the best ways to help their children develop language skills. Gaps in children’s skills grow quickly, especially during this time of rapid development. If you are concerned about any aspect of your child's speech and language development.
At GIANT LEAPS Speech Therapy advice is always free! If you are concerned about any aspect of your child's speech and language development TALK TO US today.