Early Intervention in Speech and Language Delay

Early intervention is the process of providing services and support to infants, toddlers, and their families when a child has, or is at risk for a developmental delay, disability, or health conditions that may affect typical development learning.

The areas important for early interventions are:

Sooner the child is exposed and stimulated with early intervention, the more likely children are to develop effective communication, language and swallowing skills and achieve successful learning out comes. The prognosis is always better in children undergoing the process before 3 years of age.

Typical child will be speaking his/her “first word” by age of 12-14 months. “First word” needs to be meaningful word, for example child says “mom” it should refer only for his/her mother not for all females.

Most of the children follow a common pattern in speech development. It is divided in 4 sections; each sections have subsections few of those section can be present or not.

  1. Prelinguistic (0-1 year)
    • Reflexive vocalizations
    • Cooing
    • Vocal play
    • Babbling (sounds like /ba/, /pa/)

    Prelinguistic helps the child to speak first word. In this stage child will make some meaningless sounds when they hear their own sound they keep trying to make new sounds. If the child has hearing loss they will stop cooing so parents need to beware of child’s communication skills and changes.

  2. First word (1-1.6 years)
    • “First word” needs to be meaningful word, for example child says “mom” or “dad” it should refer only for his/her mother or father not for all females or males.
  3. Phonemic development (1.6-4 years)
    • 50 words vocabulary
      Child would learn around 2000 words vocabulary by the age of 4 years.
  4. Stabilization
    Few sounds child develop till the age of 6 - 8years like /ra/
If the child is unable or late, to meeting the above milestones, it is always better to consult a Speech Therapist.

Image source-Google

Speech and Language Pathologist
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