Chasing The Dragon  

Causes of speech, language and auditory perceptual impairment:

Your child is amazing. They  first start communicating with smiles and gurgles. By the age of 2 years they can speak in short 2-4 word sentences.  But some children do not make this “magical leap”. 

This article aims to make you aware of causes of language delays. 10% of children have language delays. Delays are more common in boys than girls.

BIOLOGICAL FACTORS (physical factors)

  • Hearing impairment- some children are born “deaf” ; others suffer frequent middle ear infections and do not hear speech in a clear and consistent manner.
  • Children who suffered from trauma to the head eg: in a car accident, may lose the language they already had.
  • Children who have a serious bout of meningitis, encephalitis etc may have lost their hearing and require close monitoring.
  • Physical defects like cleft palette cause speech sounds to be affected.
  • Cognitive disorders like mental retardation make language acquisition slower.
  • Genetic history -dyslexia may run in some families.
  • Premature babies are at risk of developing language delays.
  • Dyslexic and autistic children have language delays as do children with some syndromes eg:  Down’s syndrome.

 ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS (no physical issues)

  • Your child may be concentrating on learning some other skill eg; walking rather than talking.
  • The child has a twin or sibling close in age and receives less individual attention.
  • The child may lack opportunities to speak, if others (siblings) do it for him/her.
  • The child may be in the care of someone who speaks a different language.
  • The child may be exposed to several languages, without building a firm foundation in a 1st language.
  • Lack of expectation by parents or very little language stimulation.
  • Children who are frequently hospitalized miss out on language opportunities.

If your child has any of the above risk factors, speak to a Speech and Language Professional.

By:  Sohana Kaliprasad                                                    011-9072343
Speech Therapist & Audiologist                               083 447 1894


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