A child with a language delay can say words well, but can only put two words together. A child with a speech delay may use words and phrases to express ideas, but they may be difficult to understand. A young child can understand what you say, but may have difficulty with the mechanisms that produce speech. Unlike language, speech relates to verbal expression and includes articulation (the way sounds and words are formed).
If your child's speech is delayed due to hearing loss, hearing aids or cochlear implants can help your child hear speech. Once your child has access to sound (and speech), they can develop language and even catch up with their fellow listeners. Contrary to what some might think, using sign language with infants and toddlers doesn't delay language development. Conversely, a child with a language delay may pronounce words well, but only be able to put two words together.
For example, a child with a speech delay may use words and phrases to express ideas, but they may be difficult to understand. However, as a parent, noticing the differences between siblings and peers can often cause you to worry about your child's development, especially when it comes to language and communication skills. Encouraging speech and language development at home can be fun, engaging and a good time to bond with you and your child. Teaching babies and toddlers a version of sign language can also help them develop their language.
However, for those who have turned to Google, they have searched “my toddler still does not speak” and have found answers from other concerned parents who have been told to “wait and see what happens” and the old adage of “children talk later”; I would like to shed some light on the difference between talking late, delaying speech and language, and what they can do to help their toddler develop language and communication skills. When it comes to late speech and language delays, knowing where your child is in relation to milestones can help you understand if there are any problems. Parents play a critical role in their children's speech and language development, and the most important thing is to make sure they take advantage of every opportunity to educate their child and model the behavior they are trying to create. They will ask you what you have heard and you can listen to your child's speech and check their mental development.
A delay in speech and language occurs when a child does not develop speech and language at the expected rate.