Speech Delays in Toddlers: What Are The Reasons?

The development of your toddler’s speech can be affected by a wide range of factors. If your child has a problem with forming words correctly or if the internal communication system between the brain and the parts of the body that are used to speak isn’t working, there may be either a physical or a processing impairment. In this article on kidsrush.com, we will tell you 5 major reasons for speech delays in toddlers. Let’s start!

Whether your child is having difficulties understanding language, learning words, or producing verbal skills or speech, you may want to consider these factors.

5 Major Reasons For Speech Delays in Toddlers

Physical Impairments

Among the conditions that may adversely affect speech are cleft palates. The frenulum, which connects the tongue to the lower part of the mouth, can also interfere with speech production if it is unusually short. Your child’s pediatrician is most likely to catch physical problems like this before taking pharmaceutical medications, but they may be overlooked until your child starts seeing the dentist or shows signs of speech delay. [1] [2]

Oral-Motor Problems

Many kids with speech delays suffer from apraxia of speech (CAS), a condition that negatively affects their ability to communicate. You might find that your child has difficulty controlling the parts of her body that control her speech. She might also not be able to produce some words due to dysfunctional lips, tongue, or jaw. There are instances when these kinds of oral-motor difficulties exist by themselves or in conjunction with speech disorders. [3]

General Developmental Delay

There may be a connection between a speech delay and another developmental delay. All children reach milestones at their own speeds, but if you notice that other abilities and skills are also developing slower than usual, you might want to speak with your pediatrician to have your baby assessed. Look closely at your child’s motor, verbal, and cognitive skills to ensure they are appropriate based on his or her age.

In children with developmental delays, speech can be related to very little (or no) speaking, imitating what others say, losing emotion or intonation, or appearing not to understand what others say.

Hearing Problems

Speech Delays in Toddlers
Speech Delays in Toddlers

Children with delayed speech are often also experiencing hearing problems, which is why an audiologist should be consulted whenever there is concern about their speech. Having trouble hearing could cause a child to have difficulty understanding both her own vocalizations and the voices she hears around her. She is then unable to imitate words and use language correctly or fluently as a result of not understanding what words mean.

Ear Infections

Two or more ear infections are highly likely to occur before children turn three years old. Although an infection can lead to hearing loss and language delay, it doesn’t mean a child will be automatically at risk. Your child’s speech problem won’t be increased if he or she gets an ear infection and it heals after treatment. In contrast, chronic infections can cause speech problems.

Your child’s middle ear will be inflamed, and an infection may also develop. Typically, the infection won’t clear up with topical treatments and may return within a short timeframe. It may be necessary for you to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist, or your pediatrician may recommend ear tubes for your child if they fit that description. [4]

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