Warning Signs of Language Delay

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Every child is unique and they take their own time and pace to achieve milestone.At times we do see certain delays but we think they will pick up with time. Paediatricians also believe that early intervention in child’s development can help them in great way to recover and catch up.

My twins had achieved all their milestone at right age, so I was a bit relaxed mom. My worry started when my son was not even speaking a word till 24 months. Everybody around, helped me in settling down by saying “boys pick-up late” . They assured and cited examples that they usually don’t start talking unless they are three-year old.

Neighbour stories always supported girls to be more mature and quick learners than boys. So, I gave myself and my boy some more time. Gradually within a month he started calling me “Mumma” followed by “Papa”. I was on cloud nine as if I had achieved something great in life. That day I realised the real meaning of being Parent. My girl then had already picked up more than 50 words and was repeating what we said like a parrot.

Though I was relaxed that my son had started talking yet not fully convinced from inside. When a child is not able to communicate properly it hampers his behavioural growth.

The major changes that one can witness are:

  • Starts screaming to draw attention
  • Cries out for every small thing that s/he wants
  • Starts getting irritated for his incapability of not being able to communicate.

My worry was for the above mentioned reasons mainly. I did not want my son to have a behavioural issue because of language communication.My search was not futile and was able to find signs or pointers that helped me to track my kid’s progress in language communication.

Warning Signs that would help you seek help for your child

All the pointers mentioned are as per age.

By 12 months

  • doesn’t babble with changes in tone – eg. dadadadadadadada
  • doesn’t use gestures like waving “bye- bye” or shaking head for “no”
  • doesn’t respond to his/her name
  • doesn’t communicate in some way when s/he needs help with something

By 15 months

  • doesn’t understand and respond to words like “no” and “up”
  • says no words
  • doesn’t point to objects or pictures when asked
  • doesn’t point to things of interest as if to say” Look at that!” and then look right at you.

By 18 months

  • doesn’t understand simple commands like ” Don’t touch”, ” come here”
  • isn’t using at least 20 single words like “mommy” or “up”
  • doesn’t respond with a word or gesture to a question such as ” What’s that?” or “Where’s your shoe?”
  • Can’t point out to two or three major body parts such as head, nose, eyes, feet

By 24 months

  • says fewer than 100 words
  • isn’t consistently joining two words together like ” Daddy go” or “Shoes on”
  • doesn’t imitate actions or words
  • doesn’t pretend with toys, such as feeding the doll or making toy man drive the toy car

By 30 months

  • says fewer than 300 words
  • isn’t using action words like “run”, “eat” or “Play”
  • isn’t using some adult grammar, such as “two babies” and ” doggie is sleeping” .

By 3-4 years

  • Doesn’t ask questions by 3 yrs
  • isn’t using sentences (eg. I don’t want that” or ” I want Black car” or ” My toy is broken” by three years
  • isn’t able to tell a simple story by four or five years .

These pointers are just to help you track your kid’s development in speech. If you have noticed one or more warning signs in your child, its important you take action right away to ensure that he receives the help he needs.

Early intervention always helps a child to recover at a faster pace. Hope these pointers would help the parents facing speech delay in their kids.
If you are concerned about your child’s language development, don’t delay.
Start helping him today.

DISCLAIMER : This blog post is just to help parents to track language development in kids and is not the final say on any child’s development. Please seek professional help before making any decision.


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28 thoughts on “Warning Signs of Language Delay

  1. Keeping tabs of your child’s development is extremely important and can be easily picked if there’s any developmental delay. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Your blog is filled so many useful posts for the new parents who always get worried about a lot of things happen to children. I love the way you have explained every stage of delay in speech. Simply a great blog.

    1. Thanks a lot for your encouragement. My sole purpose is to help new parents. Parents are on the panic mode the moment they realise that their child has failed to achieve a milestone but a lot could be done by adopting simple, playful activities to bring change.

  3. Though all babies develop at their own pace, but it is important to keep a track of the developmental milestones and know the warning signs, if there’s a delay. My son used to speak in monosyllables till he was 18 months old, and that used to worry us, but a week in a play school and he started speaking in sentences! A big relief that was! 😀
    Thanks for this informative post!

  4. Both my kids started talking late although they grasped things very quickly. I was told to relax but I still worried a lot. Keeping a tab on kids’, development is important. This is a helpful post!

  5. This is really informative and will be helpful for concerned parents. Early intervention is a good idea to detect any issue early on in life so that the corrective action could be taken. And knowing the warning signs is the first step to detect any speech delay issues in kids.

  6. Being a pre school teacher your post is very helpful to me. Will help me understand better why children scream especially when they cannot express through words.

    1. I was glad that you found it useful. Yes, when children are not able to express they tend to scream to draw attention.

  7. Very well written post. One can find the answer to their confusions regarding child development especially speech-related. It is important to keep an eye on the child’s overall growth.

    1. Thanks for liking it. I wrote because initially my son was finding difficult to speak. He spoke very few words. The warning signs helped me to decide whether I should seek professional help or wait .

    1. Thanks Pragnya. Glad that you liked it and bookmarked it. Do share with parents who face such issues for their kids. I have gone through such dilemma for my son.

  8. Even my daughter started speaking only after 2. I was worried too but when gradually the situation improved I was relieved. These are really important check points to identify any crisis.

  9. It is important to keep tabs of child’s growth and development. My son spoke late. His first word was purple! I was longing badly to hear him call me ma, mom whatever. Now at 4 he speaks way too much and I have to ask him to stop at times. They all have their own pace

    1. In fact my son first word was yellow ? though twins my girl was little faster and then she was busy learning colours. My son got to hear more yellow than maa so he picked up that first i believe

  10. Blogs like these are really important. My daughter had a major speech delay and thankfully we took timely call of getting her assessed. Early detection of her being on spectrum helped a lot in taking actions and helped her a lot to be on track soon.

    1. Is she out now from spectrum?? It’s really important to know the red flags during the growing age.

        1. But don’t lose your heart and hope. I have known several moms whose kids we’re detected with spectrum but with therapy and professional help they were out of it. She is showing tremendous improvement and I have full faith one day she will be completely out of it. More power to you, as a mother can make anything possible for her child.

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