Recognizing early childhood speech problems

August 6, 2018 by Len Canter, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—You eagerly await baby's first words and delight at his growing vocabulary. But that excitement may cause you to miss speech problems that should be corrected quickly.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), many parents don't know common warning signs of or that they're easier to correct before age 4.

At 12 to 24 , signs of a sound disorder include saying p, b, m, h and w incorrectly in words. At 24 to 36 months, signs include saying k, g, f, t, d and n incorrectly and producing speech that sounds unclear.

Stuttering affects many youngsters temporarily and often stops on its own. But look for worrisome signs between 30 to 36 months, such as repeating the first sound of words, like "b-b-b-ball" (buh-buh-buh-ball) for ball and stretching out sounds like f-f-f-f-farm (fffffharm) for farm.

Early signs of stuttering:

  • Struggling to say sounds or words.
  • Repeating the first sound of words.
  • Stretching out sounds.
  • Pausing noticeably between words.

Signs of a language disorder can start even earlier: For instance, a baby who doesn't babble between 4 and 7 months or doesn't understand what others are saying after 7 months. Later signs include speaking only a few words or words that aren't easily understood.

What should you expect? Between 18 and 36 months, your child should be putting together to make sentences, playing and talking with other children, and then developing early reading and writing skills.

Early learners may make mistakes. Be sure to say sounds correctly when you talk, but don't correct speech sounds or interrupt or stop your child while he or she is speaking. If you're concerned, see a certified speech-language pathologist for an evaluation. Ask your doctor for a referral, use the ASHA ProFind tool at www.asha.org/profind/ or contact your state's early intervention program.

Explore further: Baby talk words build infants' language skills, study shows

More information: The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center has state-by-state listings of early intervention coordinators and websites to help you find resources in your area.

Related Stories

Baby talk words build infants' language skills, study shows

August 1, 2018
The more baby talk words that infants are exposed to the quicker they grasp language, a study suggests.

Good speech leads to stronger reading and writing skills, says speech-language therapist

May 25, 2015
Reading and writing skills, or literacy skills, begin to develop before a child can even read or write. Emergent literacy skills develop from birth to preschool age, around 3 years old. "During the preschool period, children ...

Many parents miss speech disorders in young kids

May 9, 2018
(HealthDay)—Many parents don't recognize the signs of speech and language problems in children, or don't know that early treatment is important, a new survey finds.

Watching for signs of language delay in your child

October 21, 2014
One of the wonderful and thrilling parts of being a parent comes in witnessing a child's firsts: their first smile, their first laugh, their first step, their first word. These firsts can be delightful, exciting and memorable.

Speech therapy after a stroke

August 24, 2017
Dear Mayo Clinic: My mother had a stroke six months ago. Her mobility has returned to near normal. She can read and understands others when they speak. But she has a lot of difficulty talking, often struggling to find the ...

Simply listening prompts speech practice before an infant's first words

July 9, 2015
Infants take in the sounds of various languages indiscriminately until about 8 months of age, when their brains start to focus only on the predominant language they hear around them, according to researchers. But, they say, ...

Recommended for you

Siblings of children with autism or ADHD are at elevated risk for both disorders

December 10, 2018
Later-born siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at elevated risk for both disorders, a new study led by Meghan Miller, assistant professor in the ...

RSV study reveals age when infants are most vulnerable to asthma

December 5, 2018
New research suggests a maternal vaccination against RSV should be augmented with active immunisation in a child's first two years to reduce the onset of asthma.

The powerful impact of real-world learning experiences for kids

December 4, 2018
Real-world learning experiences, like summer camps, can significantly improve children's knowledge in a matter of just days, a new study suggests.

Mediterranean diet during pregnancy associated with lower risk of accelerated growth

December 4, 2018
The Mediterranean diet is characterised by a high content of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes and nuts. This healthy diet pattern has been associated with lower obesity and cardiometabolic risk in adults, but few studies ...

Global review reports on administration of children's antibiotics

December 4, 2018
Researchers analyzing the sales of oral antibiotics for children in 70 high- and middle-income countries found that consumption varies widely from country to country with little correlation between countries' wealth and the ...

New review highlights importance of good sleep routines for children

December 3, 2018
Sleep hygiene, which includes practices like providing a cool and quiet sleeping environment or reading before bed time to help kids unwind, is increasingly popular among parents looking to ensure their children get a good ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.