Common signs of speech delay or communication problems vary by age. If you are concerned about your child's speech or language development, a speech-language pathologist can help identify a communication delay or disorder and set up an individualized therapy plan.
The list below includes signs of speech-language disorders by age.
• No babbling • No imitation • No reaction to sound • Limited use of gestures
• No first words • Minimal attempts to communicate • Difficulty following simple direction • Inconsistent response to "no"
• Produces at most 2-word phrases• Limited or no speech sounds • Speech is not understandable• Limited understanding of simple questions • Difficulty naming objects or pictures• Frustration related to communication
• Produces at most 3-word phrases• Speech less than 50% intelligible for parents • Slow to understand language• Difficulty asking questions • Difficulty finding words to express thoughts
• Speaks only in simple sentences• Difficulty answering questions • Difficulty with complex directions• Difficulty telling stories • Difficulty with peer interactions
• Difficulty with reading, writing, and math• Produces sentences with grammar errors • Limited vocabulary compared to peers• Produces speech with sound errors • Difficulty with social interactions
• Unusual voice quality• Disfluency of speech, such as stuttering
Visser-Bochane, M. I., Gerrits, E., Schans, C. P., Reijneveld, S. A., & Luinge, M. R. (2016). A typical speech and language development: A consensus study on clinical signs in the Netherlands International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 52(1), 10-20. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12251