Does your Child Have Language Delay?: Types of Language Disorder

language delay

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Worried about language delay?

Speech and language development is a crucial and important milestone in a child.I am often asked by most of my patient’s moms, when their baby or their toddler will start talking. Does her child have language delay? I would always say that while it is normal for a 2 year old toddler to be able to talk in 2-3 word phrases and communicate his or her needs clearly through language, you do not need to fret if your 2 year old still cannot connect 3 words to form a phrase. Speech and language development is very complex and there is actually no hard and fast rule on when a child can actually fully develop this ability.

Some develop early and some has speech language delay but they actually catch up and normalize their speech and language ability later on.

Does your child have language disorder/ language delay?

If you checked on a listing of the normal speech and language development milestone based on age and found that your child was not able to accomplish some or much of the milestones on the scheduled age, it does not necessarily mean that your child is suffering from a language delay. Children typically do not master all the skills in the developmental milestone chart until they reach the maximum age that the specific skill is usually accomplished.

What is language disorder?

The development of communication starts as early as infancy, even before a child could learn how to talk. Language delay has many forms and this problem could also be attributed to different causes and etiologies. Here are some of the 4 common types of language disorder

  • Phonology – some children have problem with phonology. They have very unclear reception of their local language. They have trouble discriminating between and forming associations with the sounds which typically causes considerable speech delay. Commonly, a child with problem in phonology has a problem with reading.
  • Semantics – semantics deficit is also very common. Children with this kind of problem find it very difficult to understand the meaning of a word so they cannot actually use it appropriately.
  • Receptive language delay or disorder – this affects a child’s understanding of a word. Children with this kind of disorder may have difficulty following instructions. They may also find it hard to understand verbal explanations or interpreting what they have read in a book.
  • Expressive language delay or disorder – children with expressive language disorder has problems with articulation and fluency. Children with this speech and language development problem often has adequate vocabulary but finds it hard what words to use for example in a class discussion.

What to do if you think that your child has language delay?

If you think that your child is having speech and language disorder, it is better that you consult your doctor so that your child could be properly evaluated and referred to the proper specialist. Any language delay or speech problem will likely to have a huge negative impact on your child’s academic and social behavior and early intervention is very important. The earlier a problem is identified and treated, the less likely will speech delay or problems will get worse. Early intervention is very important in this kind of child developmental problem.

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