Speech development delay – more late in comparison with the age norm, mastering oral speech in children under 3 years of age. Delayed speech development is characterized by a qualitative and quantitative underdevelopment of vocabulary, an undeformed expressive speech, a child’s lack of phrasal speech by 2 years and coherent speech by 3 years.
Children with speech development delay need advice from a pediatric neurologist, speech therapist, psychologist; if necessary, a medical examination. Correctional work with delayed speech development should include psychological, pedagogical and medical assistance.
Delayed speech development
Delayed speech development is a concept that reflects the slower pace of mastering the norms of the mother tongue by children at the stage of early and secondary speech development. Speech therapy conclusion “delayed speech development” is valid for children younger than 3-4 years.
The backlog concerns the formation of all components of speech: the sounds of early ontogenesis, vocabulary and grammar, phrasal and connected speech. Delayed speech development occurs in 3–10% of children; in boys 4 times more often than girls. Delayed speech development has a negative effect on the development of mental processes.
Delayed speech development is a medical-pedagogical problem affecting aspects of pediatrics, pediatric neurology, speech therapy, and child psychology.
Almost every child who has reached 2 years old begins to speak actively, with all new words coming from his mouth every day. By the age of 2, the baby’s brain ripens and he expresses his emotions by talking.But, it also happens that the speech development of your child may be a bit late. Let’s look at the reasons why a child may start talking later:
Causes of delayed speech development
Delayed speech development can be caused by causes of a biological and social order.
The biological (organic) basis for delayed speech development is most often the presence of minimal brain dysfunction in a child due to perinatal brain damage.
Delay in speech development may be due to hearing loss in a child. It is known that the formation and development of speech function occurs with the direct participation of the hearing aid, that is, based on the information heard by the child, therefore hearing impairment can also cause a delay in speech development.
Sometimes the slower maturation of the nervous system is genetic in nature: if one of the parents speaks late, it is likely that the child will also experience speech development delay.
Socio-pedagogical prerequisites for the delay of speech development of a child lie in an unfavorable micro-social environment, resulting in a lack of speech contacts: lack of demand for speech. It is extremely harmful for a young child to be in an overly informed environment, where he is faced with an excessive flow of information, which, moreover, does not correspond to the age of the child. In this case, the child gets used not to listen to the speech and not to comprehend the meaning of words; utters long, patterned phrases unrelated to the development of true speech.
In postnatal development, there are 3 critical periods (I – 1-2 years; II – 3 years; III – 6-7 years), characterized by the most intensive development of the speech system and at the same time – increased vulnerability of the nervous mechanisms of speech activity. During these periods, the impact of even minor harmful exogenous factors can lead to the emergence of various speech disorders.
Manifestations of speech development delay
For a correct understanding of what signs indicate a delay in speech development, it is necessary to know the main stages and conditional norms of speech development in young children.
The birth of a child is marked by a cry, which is the first speech reaction of the infant. The cry of the child is realized through the participation of the vocal, articulatory and respiratory parts of the vocal apparatus.
Normally, at 1 year in the child’s active vocabulary there are about 10 words consisting of repeated open syllables; in a passive dictionary – about 200 words (usually the names of everyday objects and actions).
Until a certain time, a passive dictionary (the number of words whose meaning the child understands) far exceeds the active dictionary (the number of words uttered). Approximately 1.6 – 1.8 months. the so-called “lexical explosion” begins, when words from a passive dictionary of a child abruptly merge into an active vocabulary.
In some children, the period of passive speech can be delayed up to 2 years, however, in general, their speech and mental development proceeds normally. The transition to active speech in such children often occurs suddenly and soon they not only catch up with their peers who started talking early, but also overtake them in speech development.
Researchers believe that the transition to phrasal speech is possible when there are at least 40 – 60 words in the child’s active vocabulary. Therefore, by the age of 2, simple two-word sentences appear in the child’s speech, and the active vocabulary grows to 50–100 words. By 2.5 years, the child begins to build detailed sentences of 3-4 words.
In the period from 3 to 4 years old, the child learns some grammatical forms, speaks sentences combined in meaning (a coherent speech is formed); actively uses pronouns, adjectives, adverbs; seizes grammatical categories (change of words by numbers and genders). Vocabulary increases from 500-800 words in 3 years to 1000-1500 words in 4 years.
Experts allow deviation of the regulatory framework in terms of speech development for 2-3 months for girls, and for 4-5 months for boys. It is only an expert who can correctly assess whether the delay in the occurrence of active speech is a delay in speech development or an individual feature.
- Signs of delayed speech development at different stages of speech ontogenesis may include:
- lack of response to sound, speech in a child at the age of 1 year
- the inability to connect words into simple phrases at the age of 2.5-3 years
- complete absence of own speech at 3 years old (the child uses only memorized phrases from books and cartoons in speech)
- child’s predominant use of non-speech means of communication (facial expressions, gestures)