Does My Child Have Speech Delay?

19 Oct 2016 | Learning, Speaking

As parents, we always want to keep track on our child’s development. However, there are often important information which are outside of parents’ awareness, causing them to miss out on spotting developmental delays.

One of the examples is speech development delay.

It is natural for each child to have different pace in developing speech. To know whether your child’s development is going smoothly, parents should know what the norm is in a child’s development.

Here are a few pointers as parents’ directions to keep track on the child’s speech development:

1. Under one year

For children under one year, the child’s speech development can be determined by their babbling and responding to their name.

Here are the things children under one year would do:

2-3 months: Cooing, experimenting with internal sounds (e.g. moving water inside of mouth, brushing teeth), and reacting to external sounds.

4-6 months: Responding to their own name and babbling with one syllable, for example: “Papapa”, or “dadada”.

6-9 months: Knowing people’s and object’s names, being able to say simple words, such as “mama” “papa” without meaning.

9-12 months: Saying “mama” “papa” with meaning; likes to imitate words and sounds.

2. Between one to two years

For children from one to two year-old, the child’s speech development focuses on their vocabulary.

Here are the things children from one to two year-old would do:

12-18 months: Saying 3-6 meaningful words, able to nod or shake, and point to body parts or pictures.

18-24 months: 50% of speech is able to be understood by other people. The child will retain new vocabulary almost every day, and able to make 2-words sentences (e.g. “go shower”, or “really hungry”) and follow instructions.

3. Older than three years

For children from 2 years and older, the child’s speech development focuses on their sentence structure and making conversations.

Here are the things children from one to two year-old would do:

2-3 years: Almost every word can be understood. The child is able to make 3-words sentences, and know colors and songs.

3-5 years: The child is interested in stories and conversations around him/her, and able to tell stories about his/her experiences.

What should I do if I suspect speech delay?

If you are worried that your child might experience speech delay, remember that parents have a very big role in the child’s development. As a parent, you can start doing things which will stimulate their speech.

Additionally, you can also seek for professional advice through consultation.

The most important thing is to never give up on your child! Always keep a positive attitude so your child will not lose their motivation as well.

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