Recognizing and Addressing Speech-Language Developmental Delay: A Guide for Parents

Date of Publishing:   

20 July, 2023


Communication and Social Skills



Recognizing and Addressing Speech-Language Developmental Delay: A Guide for Parents

Are you noticing early signs of speech delay in your child? Do they prefer to use non-verbal communication over verbal communication? Does the child mispronounce words or have difficulty in expressing their thoughts and feelings? Is the child not reaching speech related milestones that are expected of their age?

Then these are signs of speech-language developmental delay. Several children go through this problem at an early age. Yes, as a parent you need to be concerned about your child, but if you intervene early, that makes all the difference in the child's life.  

What action should you take?

You need to identify what type of speech related problem your child is having. Plus book an appointment with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or speech therapist. They are the right professionals who have years of experience, knowledge and tools to provide you an accurate diagnosis. 

If they insist on enrolling your child in speech therapy and the diagnosis backs it up as well, then please do so as soon as possible.

Benefits of Speech Therapy

1. Improvement in child's communication skills: Speech therapy improves the child's communication skills by developing clearer speech and improves their ability of expressing themselves through language.

2. It builds the child's confidence: As the child keeps communicating more; they gain more confidence in dealing with social situations and feel good about their ability to interact with other people. 

3. It plays a huge role in their academics: In the later stages of childhood, communication plays an important role in academic success. Speech therapy improves the child's reading, writing, and language comprehension skills.

4. Development of social skills: One area where speech therapy plays an important role is in the development of social skills. The child will be able to make friends, take turns, listen, follow instructions, and understand other social cues.

5. Reduces frustration: Children who have speech delay get frustrated and engage in challenging behaviors because they have the skills to communicate their unmet needs. Speech therapy reduces frustration and teaches them alternate behaviors.

6. It improves the child's quality of life: By improving the child's communication skills, speech therapy can improve the child's overall quality of life and it helps them to build connections with people around them.

Progress begins from home

There is a common misconception parents have. They assume if they have enrolled their child for speech therapy sessions for 1 to 2 hours, the child will start speaking soon.

Speech therapy always requires a two-way effort. The therapist can only teach the child skills and engage them in activities in order to increase their vocalizations, speech, and language. The child will be only able to learn these skills properly if it is regularly practiced at home.

Otherwise, parents face a problem where the child does well in the session and doesn't say a word at home.

After the sessions, note down the activities or practices which the therapist gives you as homework. 

How to make my non-verbal child communicate?