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It is inevitable to ask this question as a parent when we see that our child does not speak, speaks little or, if he / she does, is barely understood. This happens, on many occasions, because comparisons with siblings, other children in the class, friends from the urbanization or the park, family members ...
That is why it is necessary that we know some symptoms that could be a sign of delay or alteration in language, not only oral but also written, since both are subject to speech therapy; as well as voice and hearing, so we will also pay attention to possible dysfunctions in them.
- If you barely maintain eye contact, that is, they do not look into the eyes or have no communicative intention. Check if he has a joint look with the one with whom he talks or plays. These attempts to communicate with the interlocutor are perceptible even from the first months of life, so if you do not see this interaction you must be attentive.
- Does not respond to his name or he is not surprised when loud knocks or loud sounds are produced. This could denote possible hearing problems, which are the first to be ruled out and resolved for speech to develop.
- At 2 years or 2 and a half years speech is null, almost non-existent or completely unintelligible. At this age, if language development is normal, there should be a minimum repertoire of about 40-50 different words. Of course, many children show a more restricted repertoire without this necessarily being a delay, but it is true that at this age there should have been a certain 'explosion' in their vocabulary.
- Does not understand or takes too long to respond to simple commands and / or questions. It is important to check that there are no compression difficulties since what a child does not understand is unable to reproduce, which could also lead to expressive complications.
- Yes at 3 years does not have a verbal fluency that allows him, at least, to express his most basic needs or desires and to be understood by people outside his closest environment. At this age, children are usually able to put several words together, making simple but effective sentences. If your little one tries to communicate but does so only through gestures, mimicry and / or brief vocalizations, it is good that you consult the opinion of an expert.
- Around 4-5 years you verify that one or more of the sounds it emits are distorted (perdo instead of dog, for example), are omitted (for example, peota instead of ball), or are replaced by others (tol instead of sun). All these mistakes can give the impression that your speech is infantilized, immature. If these joint defects are abundant before the age of 4 and are causing little understanding of what the child says, it is also convenient to go to a speech therapist.
- At the same age range (4-5 years) you detect dentition, jaw and / or salivation disorders that affect eating and swallowing: problems chewing or swallowing, drooling control, dental malformations, etc.
- At 5 years old continues to use excessively simple sentences (there is no use of subordinates or a variety of verb tenses) and lacking in function words (articles, prepositions, conjunctions, ...). All this leads him to demonstrate complications when narrating experiences.
- You lose your voice easily or it sounds like you are continually straining. This often happens due to misuse or vocal abuse, especially in children who breathe through their mouths, who tend to scream often, etc.
- At the time of learning to read and write shows problems when writing or reading. It is essential to attend to these difficulties in time so that the child adequately establishes the bases of literacy and they are not reflected in more complex higher processes such as understanding and / or writing texts.
- Presents problems in the acquisition of basic concepts of logical-mathematical reasoning and calculus.
In any case, if you have doubts about whether or not your child has difficulties in speech, language or communication, we recommend that you consult a speech therapist as soon as possible. This will give you guidelines to carry out, will be able to solve your unknowns and, what is more important, will act if necessary. An early detection together with an early intervention are, without a doubt, the best guarantees of success.
You can read more articles similar to When should we take the child to the speech therapist, in the Language category - On-site speech therapy.