Speech delay in children

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Well child checks are just that most of the time.  One of my goals is to assess for children meeting “developmental milestones.” At my new office we screen for this by reviewing the DDST, Denver Developmental Screening Test, with the parent.

There is a different DDST for every age because as the child ages, different skills should be mastered. The DDST reveals if your child is developmentally on track in four components: gross motor (like leg functioning), fine motor movement (finger functioning), personal/social (like eye contact), and speech.

Speech delay may cause your child to have problems saying words and phrases, putting feelings/thoughts into words, or have difficulty understanding what is said.

Some milestones by age are

  • 15 months of age: use at least three words
  • 18 months of age: follow one-step directions
  • 2 years of age: point to pictures of body parts when they are named
  • 2 ½ years of age: use original two-word phrases
  • 3 years of age: follow two-step directions.

Speech delay can be caused from hearing loss, intellectual disability, slow development, autism or cerebral palsy.

I encourage my two-language-households-families to speak BOTH languages. This is the time to introduce it! The parents (and their physician) should expect the child to mix up the two languages, but this should resolve by age 5.

If your child has a speech delay, your physician may opt to watch, perform a hearing screen, or send to speech therapy.

“Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.”  — William Shakespeare



About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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