4 Causes Of Children’s Speech Delays

4 Causes Of Children's Speech Delays
4 Causes Of Children's Speech Delays

One kid in every five has a slower speech and language development rate compared to that of their classmates. There are instances in which youngsters can overcome the delay when they start kindergarten. Nevertheless, a speech delay may also indicate an underlying issue that requires the attention of a specialist.

Seeking assistance at the earliest possible stage may significantly impact your child’s capacity to improve their abilities and support their potential to be successful. Do not procrastinate in making an appointment with the compassionate staff at THINK Neurology for Kids if you have any concerns or questions about developing your child’s speech.

An explanation of the speech delay

Because of the close relationship between speech and language, a speech delay is sometimes called a speech-language delay. However, these are two distinct talents, and a kid may have a delay in either one or both of the following areas:


Talking and appropriately producing sounds and words are both aspects of what is referred to as speech. Children that have trouble communicating may use words, but you may have trouble comprehending what they are saying. It’s also possible that they have trouble producing words, making it difficult to communicate.


Language covers communication and understanding. It refers to the capacity of a youngster to communicate information in a way that is understood by others. Children who have trouble developing their language skills may have a clear speech but utilize just a few words. They may also have difficulty comprehending the perspectives of others.

Milestones of speech and language

When children are behind in reaching their developmental milestones, we say they have a speech-language delay. There is a possibility that your kid has a delay in speech or language development if they:

  • Cannot communicate by the use of gestures within a year.
  • By the age of 18 months, you should prioritize using gestures over talking.
  • By the age of 18 months, have difficulty mimicking noises
  • 18 months old and yet unable to grasp even the simplest vocal demands
  • Imitate speech at the age of two but cannot develop their own words or sentences.
  • I cannot explain their requirements via speech within two years.
  • I can’t even track the most simple of instructions at the age of two
  • Your voice will have developed a distinctive tone by the age of two.

At the age of two, parents and other caregivers should be able to comprehend at least fifty percent of what their kid says, and by the time they turn three, they should understand at least seventy-five percent of what their child says. By the time a youngster is four years old, almost everyone ought to be capable of understanding what is being said by the child.

Reasons why speech and language delays happen

Some children who have a delay in their speech or language also have an issue with their development or their physical health that is causing the delay. In some cases, we cannot determine the particular reason(s).

The most common reasons for speech and language delays are:

Oral-motor difficulties

Speech delays are often brought on by dysfunction in the brain regions responsible for controlling the muscles used in speech production. As a consequence of this, youngsters may have difficulty producing sounds because they cannot coordinate the movement of their lips, tongues, and jaws.

Children who suffer from the disorder known as apraxia cannot move the muscles necessary for speech because the brain is unable to connect with the face muscles. Dysarthria is yet another oral-motor illness that may manifest itself when the muscles that regulate the face, lips, and tongue cannot function appropriately.


Autism is usually accompanied by delayed speech development in children. According to one research, children with autism were between the ages of 3 and 4 years old and could not talk at a level common for their age. An autism spectrum condition may also hamper other aspects of a person’s language development. 

Because children with autism have trouble speaking nonverbally, it is possible that they will not begin to convey their needs until they are 12 months old. Autism also creates another frequent difficulty for a speech-language delay. Other people may have trouble understanding the autistic person because they constantly repeat the same phrases, often a phrase they heard in a movie, video game, or television programme.

Auditory processing disorder or hearing loss

Hearing loss may substantially influence your child’s ability to communicate verbally, utilize language, and comprehend the speech of others. Some youngsters cannot comprehend what they hear because they suffer from a condition known as auditory processing dysfunction, which affects their hearing.

Intellectual disability

Children who have intellectual disabilities often suffer delays in a variety of other aspects of their development, including their speech and language development and their academic, social, emotional, and physical growth. These children may have difficulty forming or speaking words well enough for others to comprehend them. 

It’s also possible that they have trouble understanding language or putting phrases together. When it comes to a speech-language delay, early diagnosis and therapy may make a significant impact is the single most crucial fact to keep in mind. 

We can address the specific speech difficulty of each kid and assist them in making progress when we use intensive intervention. Call THINK Neurology for Kids or schedule an appointment online if you have concerns about your child’s ability to communicate verbally or in writing.