Speech delay is the inability to produce sounds or say words in toddlers and babies. Children develop at their own pace, so speech delay may not mean there is an underlying problem (“What developmental milestones,” 2021). Usually, the 32 months-old child with a speech delay has a verbal communication problem and cannot construct a sentence. His language strength lies in phonology and semantics, while he is weak in syntax and morphology areas of language development.
Speech and Language Development Area
At this age, the baby should achieve several specific milestones. For instance, the infant should say at least 200 words, follow simple instructions, name familiar things, name a friend, say his first name, communicate a sentence with two to three words, and address strangers (“What developmental milestones,” 2021). However, speech delay can indicate some health problems that might need treatment for the child for further successful development. Although children with speech delay may experience difficulties interacting with their peers and getting troubles with pronunciation, there are still benefits in this situation. Toddlers who have problems expressing themselves through words may develop an ability to non-verbal communicate and interact with people through body language and emotions. Also, since they struggle with speaking and social interaction, they may focus on some physical activities because they can more easily perform and put their energy into it.
Causes and Effects of the Speech Delay
Delayed speech can be caused by various factors, including mouth problems, lack of stimulation, and hearing loss. A tongue-tie or ankyloglossia where the mouth is connected to the mouth floor may cause speech delay (“What developmental milestones,” 2021). Hearing loss is another probable cause whereby the child may not hear or acknowledge the words, but when gestures are used, the child comprehends (“What developmental milestones,” 2021). Furthermore, if the child is neglected or abused, they can have delayed developmental milestones.
Strategies for Parents and Caregivers
Speech-language therapy is one of the techniques to treat speech delay for the child. This therapy is most suitable if the only developmental problem is speech delay (“What developmental milestones,” 2021). After treating the available speech disorders, the parent or caregiver is asked to increase their interactions with the child. Some of the approaches used in interactions include talking, playing, using books, and recognizing pictures to help stimulate speech development (“Language delays in toddlers,” 2021). However, the caregivers should also work with the child at home.
Two additional strategies to implement into the family’s everyday life are reading for the child and daily situations. Using reading materials with simple correct sentences will help the child form sentences. The result of this strategy is that the child will learn more words, hence reaching the necessary milestone. The second strategy uses everyday situations to build the child’s speech and language. The parent is encouraged to talk to the child throughout the day regarding different aspects (“Language delays in toddlers,” 2021). Such exposure is the most effective because the child will learn from real-life situations. The outcome of this strategy is improved speech by using the right words to form sentences.
Overall, the speech delay among 32 months-old children is a phenomenon that can sometimes occur in the early phases of development due to many reasons. Some of them, for instance, is connected with hearing loss or the lack of stimulation from the parents. However, a particular speech-language therapy with constant individual practice can help the toddlers fix this issue. With the help of timely measures, the baby has all the chances to deal with the speech delay and grow as a regular and healthy person easily integrated into society.
What developmental milestones is your 3-year-old reaching? (2021). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.
Language delays in toddlers: Information for parents. (2021). Healthy Children. Web.