Wednesday, 30 March 2011

My child isn't talking, why is this?

Reasons Behind Speech Delays
Written by the Admin team at YGOY
Most parents eagerly wait for their children’s first words. Hence, it can be worrisome and disappointing if they are slow and don’t utter those precious words. There are several reasons behind speech delays. However, the good news is that many children who seem to talk “late” catch up on their speech without any problems by the time they turn two years old. About one in four children is usually a late talker. Also, most of them don’t need any special help to get them back on the right track. Read on to know about the reasons behind speech delays.
Reasons Behind Speech Delays
Temperament and heredity can hinder in speech delivery, as can a eager parent’s anticipation of their child’s every single need rather than letting them speak for themselves. Here are a few reasons for speech delays in children:
  • Boys – They mostly develop speech later than girls, even though there is generally 1-2 month lag. By 16 months, boys use only 30 words on an average whereas girls use around 50 words.
  • Premature babies – Babies who are born early usually take longer to reach speech development milestones than others. However, by the time they turn two years-old, they catch up with other children’s speech development. According to pediatricians, parents should start counting from the child’s due date rather than his or her birth date, when they are analysing a preemie’sdevelopment. A premature baby born 3 months early than his or her due date might seem like a late talker but in reality it might be progressing fine.
  • Multiples – According to speech-language pathologists, it is estimated that nearly 50% of all multiples have some form of speech delays. Medical intervention during delivery, low birth weight and prematurity can occur more frequently among multiples. This can lead to speech and language delays.
  • Kids with chronic ear infections – If a child has fluid in the ear for months – more importantly in the first year when he or she is beginning to process language – it can lead to poor hearing. Thus, this may lead to delayed speech.
Of course there are other reasons why, such as they don't need to talk, an overall developmental delay, specific language impairment or even ASD. A Speech & Language Therapist would be able to assess and give advice. If you are worried contact your local NHS therapist or

Our Teeny Talkers classes help 2 - 3 year olds who might need a little help

There are some great articles at

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. I was told by my health visitor that my son would never talk. So we signed. And then, he hit a year, and he talked. Now he's seven, and he doesn't stop! He still signs if he wants something and it's noisy, but that's out of practicality!

    My grandma said it was because he was an early walker. (9months). Who knows.

  2. I wish people wouldn't say things like that as it's too young to tell. I have learned over the years that children often surprise us. I'm really pleased that he's doing well now. Signing can really help. No-one can be good at everything, so your Grandmas could be right! He sounds a star!

  3. Great, clear advice for worrying parents. I'd never realised that ear infections could delay speech...

  4. A very interesting post. I'm a bit surprised by "by 16 months, boys use only 30 words on an average" though - 30 words at 16 months?! My younger son had that many on the cusp of 17/18 months and people always remarked on how well he spoke/how many words he had! Certainly, he's always seemed remarkably verbal to me as my older son didn't speak at all until pretty much 21 months (and yet, as you say, by 2 was totally on track). What actually counts as language delay?

    Incidentally, we spoke to both our sons lots from birth (if anything our first-born probably got more attention as I wasn't distracted by an older sibling!)yet they've learned to speak at totally different rates. I've always assumed there was just a big range in what counts as 'normal speech development' and they both developed at their own pace...

    Thought provoking post.

  5. You are so right that each is very individual! Its always amazing how 2 children from the same family can have such different patterns