All healthy children are born with the ability to learn languages and can easily distinguish the human voice from other voices and the mother's voice from other people's voices within a few days after birth. These are important findings that reveal the genetic predisposition of infants for language development. If there is no physiological problem in structures such as the larynx and vocal cords, which are necessary for speaking, if the hearing perception is normal, if the baby's neurological development is sufficient, language acquisition occurs naturally and correctly. However, any problem in one of the components necessary for speech can lead to speech delay or lack of language skills. If the child has not yet started to speak despite reaching the speaking age, has lagged behind his peers in language development, and has not been able to go beyond providing bilateral communication with signs or single words, it should be considered that there may be a speech-related disorder.
When Do Babies Talk?
Babies can make sounds related to vital activities such as crying, yawning, burping and coughing right after birth. Although these sounds are not a sign of language skills, they can be considered as an indication of the correct functioning of the baby's physiological structures such as the larynx and vocal cords. .
What are the Speech Stages in Babies?
Speech stages in babies are one of the first stages of life. It can be examined in two ways as the year and the pre-school period. The first one-year process is called the prelinguistic stage, and in this stage, the baby tries to communicate with sounds and facial expressions before words. In the first two months, the muscles in the mouth are controlled and the baby begins to make non-speech sounds called can-nonical babling. After the 5th month, he pronounces the vowel sounds of his mother tongue and repeats these pronunciations as of the 6th month. In this stage, which is also called the vocal gymnastics stage, it is extremely important for language development that the baby can hear both his own voice and similar sounds from the environment. After this stage, as of the 9th month, the murmuring-variegeated babling phase, in which language-specific sound combinations are extracted, begins. At this stage, vocabulary is formed and developed, communication with the environment is established directly through language, and communication skills are shaped. Therefore, this stage is an important developmental stage in which signs such as speech delay will become visible and underlying diseases such as autism, cerebral palsy and hearing loss, if any, can be detected.
What Causes Speech Delay?
It is an oral communication system that is regulated by certain rules. This system is shaped individually according to the motor skills and intelligence level of each individual, and is also greatly influenced by many genetic and environmental factors. rate is affected. In line with many studies, it can be said that many factors such as the level of interaction with the social environment, the number of siblings, the presence of conditions such as long illness and premature birth, the educational status of the parents, the approach of the person in the role of parent or caregiver, and socioeconomic status are effective on the baby's language development. .
However, some conditions increase the risk of delayed speech in children. These can be classified in two different ways as prenatal and postnatal risk factors. Prenatal factors that increase the risk of delayed speech in babies vary, including exposure to radiation or toxic substances, infection, chromosomal abnormalities, hypothyroidism in the mother, hearing-vision loss, and trauma. Postpartum factors can be listed as premature birth, low birth weight, hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), prolonged jaundice, malnutrition, infection, congenital anomalies, environmental stimulus intensity, lack of mother-infant interaction, being an only child and low education level.
All these are important factors that increase the risk of delayed speech in the baby. However, some conditions such as hearing loss, auditory neuropathy disorders, autism spectrum disorder, mental retardation, cleft palate-lip anomaly, double mother tongue and psychosocial deprivation may directly cause speech delay. In the presence of one of these, the entire development of the baby should be followed closely.
What Should Be Done to a Child Who Talks Late?
Any speech-related disorder can affect the baby's communication habits, psychosocial health, intelligence level and intellectual development. direct effects. Therefore, first of all, the risk factors that may cause speech delay should be known and the baby should be followed up by development specialists in the presence of one of these factors.
The development process of each baby shows unique differences. For this reason, the above-mentioned stages of speech may change according to the neurodevelopmental level of the baby, the sociocultural characteristics of the family, the environmental conditions in which the baby grows up, and many other factors. For this reason, the absence of speech in the specified months should not worry the parents, and speaking skills require a learning process such as reading and writing. it should be known. At this point, mothers whose child speaks late should take care to have detailed information about the subject, and should cooperate with child development specialists and pediatricians who are experts in their fields in order to follow the development of the baby correctly. If you have any concerns about the delayed speech of a girl or boy, do not neglect to apply to the developmental pediatrics unit.