Is your child acquiring language correctly

A child begins to speak around one to two years of age. The first words appear between 12 and 18 months. If by the age of two years these first words have not been produced, or if by the age of three years the child has not begun to put them together in simple sentences, there is a language disorder or delay.

As the child grows, he/she progressively presents a specific development of the characteristics that make up spoken language. At each age, certain phonological, semantic, morphosyntactic and pragmatic structures are reattributed. That is to say, children gradually acquire sounds, words and later the formation of sentences with their own syntax.

In general terms, we can speak of a language disorder or a delay in language acquisition. It is considered a language disorder when there is a delay of at least twelve months in the acquisition of language. We speak of language delay when this period is about 6 months.

When should I consult?

Early diagnosis is important. When we observe that our child does not communicate in a similar way to children of the same age, we should consult with professionals. This can be observed from the earliest ages. If a baby does not communicate by looking at stimuli, does not laugh, does not make sounds while playing with him, we can sense that something is wrong. In these cases, the first thing to do is to rule out a hypoacusis (deafness) that is influencing the acquisition of language. That is to say, it is not necessary to wait until the age of 2 or 3 years when the problem is already established and very important stages of infantile communication have been lost.

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Treatment of language disorders and delays

There are different areas of work susceptible to treatment according to the age of the child. Depending on the alterations detected, different treatment programs are designed for each patient.

It is of great importance to work together with the parents and the school. Parents must be informed and taught to work together with us, in the same line, so that the work done in consultation is extended in daily life under the same guidelines.

The school should also be informed of the diagnosis that has been reached and the treatment that is being applied so that the child is not penalized by this problem in the face of a difficulty in both comprehension and expression.

Do language disorders have a solution?

Generally, language delays are easily solved. Severe language disorders are the most problematic. These, detected early, will evolve more satisfactorily, although the degree of improvement depends on the severity of the disorder. Let us bear in mind that at an early age mental plasticity is high and the learning capacity is very great.