When parents hear their babies coo or babble, they may not realize just how important those nonsensical sounds are to their children’s development. Well before infants verbalize their first recognizable word, they are learning and testing their language abilities in a variety of ways. Though children can develop their communication skills over varying periods of time, parents should carefully monitor their kids and observe for any language delays .
Recognizing the Signs
Language delays encompass more than just verbal expression. Parents can often spot the signs of a language problem before their children would normally start speaking. For instance, even before they can talk, children can understand words and commands from other people. An infant who cannot respond to a simple request from his parent may have a language delay. In some cases, a lack of attention to verbal interaction may indicate a hearing problem. Children can also use their bodies to communicate before they can speak. Instead of asking for a bottle or toy, a child may point to it. Infants who cannot display these behaviors by their first birthdays may be experiencing language difficulties. Language delays may also be to blame for toddlers who cannot express themselves through words by the time they turn two years old.
Seeking Professional Help
Because children can develop according to varying timetables, some parents may be reluctant to discuss their concerns with a behavior disorder specialist. Others may wait with the hope that their children simply need more time to catch up to their peers. If a language delay is present, though, the lack of immediate professional treatment may only intensify their challenges. The sooner help is sought, the quicker that parents can address the needs of their children. With both one-on-one therapy sessions and group behavior classes, children with language delays can receive the support they require and move past the obstacles hindering their communication abilities.
Is your child exhibiting delayed language skills? The Behavior Exchange can provide expert evaluation and assessment for families residing in the greater Dallas area. To schedule a consultation with one of our behavior disorder specialists, call (972) 312-8733.