Some children learn new words faster than others do. If your child is not
saying words by 18 months, or can say fewer than 50 words by 24 months, talk with
your doctor. All children with a speech delay should have their
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Keep in mind that many
different things determine a child's speech development. Be aware of the
common misconceptions about what causes speech and
language delays, such as laziness or developmental differences between boys and
girls. Even if some of these things contribute to a child's speaking slightly
later than others of the same age, they are not the cause of significant speech
delays. True delays are related to developmental or health issues, such as some
types of hearing loss or a family history of speech and language delay.
Red flags for speech and language developmental delays
are generally based on established speech and language milestones. Talk to your
child's doctor any time you have concerns. It is critical to identify
speech and language delays early and rule out other conditions, such
as difficulty hearing. Early diagnosis allows the doctor to recommend
treatments that can help prevent long-term problems.
While they learn and master new
language skills, children sometimes talk in ways that are demanding or
impolite. For example, a child may say "Give me!" when he or she wants a toy.
Often this behavior is the result of children's inability to find
the words that fit their feelings, or they are simply repeating what is being
said around them. Gently remind your child to use an appropriate voice and
manners. And consistently model polite speech and behavior.
parents think that their child is constantly talking or chattering. This is a
child's way of practicing. It is not necessary for parents to listen and
respond to everything a talkative child says, but don't completely tune out
your chatterer either. Singing and dancing with your child and playing music or
reading stories geared toward children will help your child learn to listen and
to express himself or herself.
Most children make developmentally
"mistakes" when they first learn to talk. For example,
children commonly mispronounce words, such as saying "pasghetti" for
"spaghetti." As children listen to other people, they often correct their
mistakes. They learn to say words clearly and use grammar correctly through
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
December 21, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this