Language delays are the most common form of developmental delay.
Language delays are the most common form of developmental delay in toddlers/preschool children.
The earlier the diagnosis, the earlier the therapy can begin and the better the final outcome.
Not meeting speech/language milestones at a normal rate or at all
Using gestures rather than words
Displaying any of the red flags noted previously
Displaying difficulties initiating words or conversation
Evaluation and Diagnosis
Referral for Developmental/Speech Evaluation
Children who have no words by 18 months, no phrases by 2 years; children whose speech is unintelligible or does not meet milestones for intelligibility at ages 2, 3, and 4 years
Children who have echolalia persisting after age 3
Children whose parents express reasonable concern or worry about their child’s language delay
Children who have failed developmental or screening tests
Evaluate for disorders on the differential: hearing loss, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and environmental deprivation
All children with suspected speech delay should have a full audiologic evaluation
Once identified as having a speech delay, children proceed to speech therapy as well as occupational therapy, if indicated
Speech delays are characterized as expressive, receptive, or mixed expressive/receptive language delay