Identifying early signs of speech disorders in children

Published: 13 Oct 2020 Tagged: apraxiachildrenCommunicationearly interventionearly signsexpressive languagepreschoolersSpeakablespeakingspeech and language pathologyspeech disorderspeech language pathologistspeech pathologistSpeech Pathologytoddlers
Identifying early signs of speech disorders in children

There are many aspects in life which can indicate higher chances of achieving happiness, fulfilment and social satisfaction. One of them is verbal communication, a skill which allows people create emotional bonds and collaborate towards common goals. Therefore, communication disorders pose a concerning threat for any individual’s fulfilment, and parents and carers should intervene as soon as possible to help a child who demonstrate early signs of speech disorders. The list below can guide parents and carers to detect if there’s a red flag which needs more attention or the proper investigation from a speech and language pathologist:

  • Equal and excessive stress
  • Inconsistent errors
  • Increased difficulty with volitional vs. automatic speech responses
  • Intensified errors or difficulty with longer or more complex syllable and word shapes
  • Limited babbling
  • Limited phonetic diversity
  • Losing previously produced words
  • Omissions, especially in word initial syllable shapes
  • Preponderance use of simple syllable shapes
  • Variation with babbling
  • Vowel errors/distortions

Though the signs above are detected from speech and effort to speech, it is possible to identify other signs from different situations, such as below:

  • Fine and/or gross motor skills delays
  • Feeding difficulties (choking, poor manipulation of food etc.)
  • General awkwardness or clumsiness
  • Oral apraxia: impaired volitional oral movements, such as when trying to ‘smile’, ‘kissing’, ‘puckering’ etc.

It’s always wonderful watching a child trying and achieving their communication milestones, but it’s even more wonderful when helping them overcome difficulties in advance. Whenever you feel your child is showing early signs of speech disorders, search for support as soon as possible. Speakable’s team of SLPs is ready to provide skills assessments and treatments programs, do not hesitate in contacting us!

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