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What can I do to help my baby with delayed speech?

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Watch for any sign of a major speech delay in your baby. The earlier a speech problem in babies is diagnosed, the more time you'll have to correct the problem. If you sense a possible problem with your child, you can:

  • Get their hearing checked. Hearing loss in infants can delay their speech growth. Most states require a hearing screening in the hospital right after birth. Take your baby in for a full hearing exam by age 3 months if they didn’t pass the first hearing screening.
  • See a speech-language pathologist if your child has a specific speech, language, or voice disorder. Treatment may include games to improve speech problems in babies and improve a child's language skills.
  • Rule out other problems. Almost 1 out of 5 kids in the U.S. have a mental or behavioral disability like autism or development delay.

From: Your Baby's First Words WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "Speech and Language Developmental Milestones." National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, Zerotothree.org: "Helping Your Child Learn To Talk" and "Communication Skills." National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities: "Developmental Milestones." Hawaii Department of Health: "Good Hearing Helps a Baby Learn To Talk."



Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on May 20, 2018

SOURCES: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "Speech and Language Developmental Milestones." National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, Zerotothree.org: "Helping Your Child Learn To Talk" and "Communication Skills." National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities: "Developmental Milestones." Hawaii Department of Health: "Good Hearing Helps a Baby Learn To Talk."



Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on May 20, 2018

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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