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Children learn to speak evolutionarily and in stages, which correspond to their age and degree of development. Detect a delay in children's language developmentIn the acquisition of vocabulary or in the pronunciation of phonemes, it is essential to start a treatment or training in time that allows the child to acquire the normal rhythm of development.
Ana Carballal, Psychopedagogue and specialist in Early Care, explains what the development of children's communication consists of, and tells us in this interview what are the phases of language learning and what is considered normal in the evolution of children when they learn to speak.
- What makes us suspect that something is not working well in the way of communication of children?
There are a number of signs that can be seen before children begin to speak, that is, it is not necessary to speak to see that there is something in the communication that is not going well. Although they are subtle things, they are very important, there is something wrong when a child does not share with the parents, does not look, does not have an attention, the need to attract the attention of his parents, he has not learned to point more or less to 9 months, at 9 or 10 months, which would be very important behaviors for the child to learn to speak, basically when there is no intention to communicate something and now the word.
When we are already in the linguistic stage, things that indicate that something is not going well, in addition to all of the above, lack of intention to communicate, we see that the child does not speak in a very correct way according to what he expects due to his developmental age or makes very unstructured sentences without any meaning or has a very small vocabulary depending on what is expected for his age.
- How is a delay in language development appreciated?
The delay in the development of the language of the child consists of the delayed development of what is expected according to his age, growth and level of development. Language delay can be observed both at the level of expression and comprehension, both parts are affected, although expression is more affected than comprehension.
- What can tell us that a child has a delay in language development?
An indicative in which you have to look at the appearance of the first words. In general, they usually appear between 12 and 18 months, but in the child with a language delay they will appear at 2 years, which causes all language stages to appear delayed.
In children with a language delay, the holophrase which consists of using a word to express an entire sentence, appears later. Later he also began to use telegraphic language, that is, to use the conjunction of two words, and also this telegraphic language was going to last longer. Other indications are the use of a reduced vocabulary for what is expected, that they use very simple phrases, that they do not use possessive pronouns when it would be normal for them to use them ...
Ultimately, they are children who do not have the capacities to express themselves freely and then they wait to be asked. At the level of understanding, they are children who have problems with spatio-temporal concepts or with concepts such as colors, which has as a consequence an impact on their learning at school level.
- What is normal in the development of children's communication?
There are a series of points that we can point out as normal when learning to speak and others that would not be so normal. It is normal that when children learn to speak they feel like talking, communicating, sharing ... It is normal that they look at the adult, that they seek his attention, that they are curious ... It is also normal that they experience their phonatory organs through from sounds and through that practice they will learn babbling.
The normal thing when learning to speak is that children go through the pre-linguistic stage, crying, smiling, babbling, and then a slang they go to the linguistic stage where children learn the first words, go to the holophrase, to telegraphic language and they evolve to adult language.
- What is not normal in the development of children's communication?
It is not normal for children not to go through the previous stages or to pass, but with a significant delay in their development. It is also not normal for children to show alterations in the way they speak, that is, in the expression and pronunciation of words. In this case, it is also necessary to assess how is the language they use and how they use language, that is, the function that language has for them.
- How can a speech therapist or a Hearing and Language teacher help a child with a delay in language development?
They are the specialists in charge of problems related to language and hearing. They are responsible for preventing incidents in language learning and are the ones who will intervene when any of these problems appear. When there is a child who has a language delay, your intervention is essential to reduce that delay and for the child to acquire a normal language acquisition process.
- What are the functions of the speech therapist or the teacher in Hearing and Language?
Its functions are basically three: prevent, diagnose and correct. To prevent because they are always working to prevent those problems from arising or if they arise they will not continue. They work a lot with teachers to see what activities and programs they can develop in the classroom or give tips and guidelines for working in the classroom.
- Diagnosis of language delay. How is it given?
When there is a suspicion of delay, they are the ones who will evaluate what aspects are behind and will develop a program that adjusts to the specific child and what he needs. And finally,correction, by intervening so that the child who has a delayed development reaches a normal rhythm and evaluating the child's evolution throughout the process.
You can read more articles similar to Delayed language development in children, in the Language category - On-site speech therapy.