Speech and language development

Children deviating from the age-related development path should be referred to a speech therapist for assessment . Observation of early interaction is important: how does the adult make contact with the child; what is the developmental stage of the child's emotional life; what is the psychosocial situation? Delayed speech and language may be the first signs of a particular verbal problem, dyslexia, impaired hearing, mental retardation, autism or other conditions associated with contact problems, motor disorder (dyspraxia), deprivation, interaction problems within the family or complicated psychosocial problems encountered in children from a multicultural background. Adequate hearing ability in essential for normal speech and language development. Therefore, the hearing ability of the child has to be tested. Family history of language or attention difficulties warrant a closer than normal monitoring of the development of the child’s language skills and communication.