Many children with autism and other developmental disorders exhibit signs of language delays. A language delay occurs when a child falls behind the rate of language development that is typical of his or her age range. Delays are not the same as disorders, however. A speech or language disorder refers to atypical language development. Children with autism and other challenges who struggle with language delays have been known to “catch up” with their peer groups after working with an autism therapist .
Understanding Typical Milestones
Developmental milestones provide a basis of comparison for parents and professionals to determine whether a child is on target for his or her age range. However, they are not set in stone; each child is unique and develops at his or her own pace. If a child is significantly behind a developmental milestone; however, it could be time to seek help from experts in behavioral and developmental issues. Generally, by the time a child turns one year old, he or she should say at least one word. By the second birthday, a child should generally speak at least 50 to 100 words and say a few two-word phrases.
Observing Potential Indicators
Autism experts note that children who fail to interact appropriately with others could be exhibiting signs of autism, which may be accompanied by a language delay. For example, if your child is not using gestures by 12 months or understanding simple requests by 18 months, it could be time to seek intervention. Likewise, a child who cannot follow simple directions, use verbalizations to express needs, or produce words spontaneously (rather than in an imitated fashion) by two years of age, may benefit from communication training with a behavior therapist.
Deciding to Seek Help
Seeking early intervention for your child can be one of the most important decisions you can make. The cost-benefit of early intervention is significant and is scientifically proven to improve outcomes and therefore, lives. Therapy sessions for children consist of embedding targeting goals into fun activities within a stimulating environment. In addition to developing language skills, your child can work on his or her social, behavioral, and academic skills.
The behavioral and developmental experts at The Behavior Exchange of Dallas believe that every child can reach his or her full potential. We offer intensive therapy based on scientifically proven Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques. Parents are invited to call us today at (972) 312-8733 for more information about our one-on-one therapy sessions and behavior interventions.
Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA