Baby Development

Why Do Children Start Talking Late?

Why Do Children Start Talking Late?

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Memorial Atasehir Hospital, Department of Otorhinolaryngology Assoc. Dr. Yezdan Fırat gave information about the delayed speech in children and made recommendations to the parents.

Delayed speech can be defined as the inability of a child to provide similar speaking skills to his peers. If a child cannot achieve the expected speech consistent with age, it may be a “speech disorder,, or“ developmental language delay ”. Speech disorder due to any organ is called “organic speech disorder” and the condition that occurs without any organ disorder is called “functional speech disorder..


In order for a child to be able to speak, the language (language) skills must be developed, sound production should be possible and the organs that will perform the function of speech should not be impaired. In this case, intelligence, hearing, vision, oral cavity, upper airways, lungs and the nervous system and muscle system that feeds them must be natural. Therefore, eye, ear nose and throat, brain, nervous system and musculoskeletal problems should be investigated in order to determine the presence of speech disorder in a child with delayed speech.

One of the most important reasons for delay in speech hearing loss It is not. Hearing impairment may be congenital or acquired later. The child may have a hearing loss while he / she has heard before. The child hears loud soundshearing some sounds (just give up, just high-pitched sounds) does not indicate that the child has no hearing loss, but may cause the conversation to stop. Therefore, it is essential to conduct a detailed hearing assessment in the child whose suspicion is delayed in his speech. The most common cause of acquired hearing loss is the deterioration of middle ear ventilation in children with frequent upper respiratory tract infections. In addition, the presence of an unnoticed (submucosal) cleft palate, tongue ligament may cause late speech or speech impairment.

The ENT, child neurology and child psychiatry work together to reveal the pathology in these children. The problem is functional in children without organic disorders. The problem may be functional speech impairment or developmental language delay. There is no organic cause in functional speech disorder. In this case, psychiatric disorders should be investigated.


Talk All individuals use the language (language) that belongs to their community. In order to complete the language development in the child, he / she must first understand the language and then use the language. We call them “receptive language” and ici expressive language.. Yet in a child who cannot speak we expect the understanding of language to be improved. If receptive language skills are developed, it can be considered roughly not a problem for the brain and nervous system. Such a child does not speak yet, but he can execute commands such as getir bring me the ball ”, koy put your toy in the closet”. Children with 18-20 months of age who have developed the recipient language but whose expression language has not yet developed may have developmental language delay. In this case, the child can be followed up with the “wait-and-see” method, but other pathologies should be investigated and excluded. These children usually have a family history of late-speaking parents, siblings.


-Each baby can make meaningless sounds until they are 3-6 months old and this does not indicate that the child has no hearing loss. Hearing screening should be performed in every healthy baby.
-6-12 months old baby should start to make meaningful sounds such as “head to head“ and ma ma ma ”.
-12 months old baby “yes”, “no” should understand the commands, called when the name should look.
-12-16 months, such as 1-2 grandfather ”,“ father ”should be 1-2 meaningful words.
-24. a vocabulary of 5-10 words should be developed when the month is completed.
-24-36 months, ne What is this? ”, Nerede Where is the ball?”, Kim Who am I? ”Must be able to understand and give meaningful answers.
- be able to make sentences of 2 or 3 words between 24-36 months.
-36. words used after the month must be understood by foreigners.
He should be able to describe a simple event at the age of 4-5.
- He must be able to describe a complex event at the age of seven.


Pathologies that prevent the child's hearing and speech should be investigated. The existence of a psychological barrier should be questioned. Then, age-appropriate development test and intelligence test evaluations should be performed. In addition, disorders that may affect muscles and nervous system should be investigated. If all of this is normal, environmental factors that may cause delay in speech should be examined.


- Familial language delay
- Developmental language delay
- Premature birth or growth retardation
- Conflicting situations such as speaking two languages, using right hand and left hand
- Hearing loss, hearing perception disorders.

- Intraoral problems such as tongue ligament, cleft palate-lip
- Autism, mental retardation
- Lack of psychosocial stimuli
- çocuk Shivering child “; child not being given the opportunity to speak


The reason a child starts to speak late is because he does not take advantage of his language skills. Therefore, it is also important to detect these children as early as possible.

After the possible causes are investigated and revealed, the cause-related treatment is performed. The child, who has no family history and has a family history of late speech, can be followed up with the “wait-and-see” method. It is known that boys are more prone to developmental language delay than girls. During this process, parents are advised to contribute to the language education of the child. Adequate and effective communication should be established with children and opportunities should be given for them to talk. For something that the child wants, he / she should first be expected to express it verbally and then what he / she wants should be done.

Daily communication should be maintained by asking the child questions and taking time to answer them, and the child should try to create short stories. All individuals in the immediate vicinity of the child should consider every moment with the child as an education and provide an example of correct speech and provide an opportunity for the child to speak.

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