Developmental disability is found in about 5-10% of children. They would have delayed speech and language development. Language development is not just speech alone. It includes communicative forms like sign language, visual skills, writing etc. Parents are the first ones to notice this problem in their child. Expressive delays and receptive delays are the two types of delays. Inability to generate speech is expressive delay. Receptive delay happens when the child is unable to decode the speech of others.
Hearing problem could be one of the reasons for speech delays. Mental deficiency or autism can also be a reason for delayed speech. It is important to refer a pediatrician at an early stage and to understand the type of problem the child has. Some children would start speaking slowly. Some kids would have major problems which have to be attended to.
Parents can improve their child's speech in many ways. Simple language has to be used. Use simple words or sentences that the child understands. Parents can read a book that has pictures, which would enable the child to visualize while learning. Repeat or expand what the child says. It is very important for parents to be patient. They should not be in a rush or force the child to express himself. Parents ought not to pressure their children. Forcing the child would put him or her under stress.
There is always time and space for growth. So, speech delay in kids can be handled with diligence and wisdom.
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