What’s the difference between speech and language?
There is a major distinction between the two. Speech is an expression of sounds which form the foundation of actual words. Language is a more advanced version of speech. Language expresses meaningful information that is delivered in two-way communication. A child with a speech problem will do the actual talking with complete wording but cannot be understood by an adult whereas a child with a language problem can pronounce words correctly but cannot phrase two or more words correctly to form of meaningful sentence.
How Do You Know If Your Child Has a Problem?
You know that your child has a problem when she is left behind by her age mates. A twelve month old should relate to his environment through speech. At only nine months, your child should put together sounds to form a word like ma-ma without necessarily understanding their meaning. At twelve months of age, a child’s perception should be fully developed; she should understand the meaning of simple words like bottle and sleep.
At fifteen months, she should start imitating family members. A child at this age should also understand simple instructions. By 18 months, she should construct 20-word sentences.
At 2 years of age, a child should respond to questions with correct answers. At three, a child should comfortably identify colors.
What does it mean if your child doesn’t speak at the expected age?
- Oral impairment is the main cause of delayed speech and language.
- Ear problems such as infections could hinder a child’s ability to learn from the environment.
- Communicate with your child regularly straight from the word go. Do not baby talk him; do it like you would to a grown up.
- Read child stories to him frequently.