Speech Development Blog

Speech and Language Development: An Overview

What is speech and language development?

Speech and language are the skills we use to communicate with others. We form these skills during the first years of life and by age 6, most children learn the basics. Talking and reading to your child will boost these skills.  

What is the difference between speech and language?

Speech refers to the sounds that become words—the physical act of talking. Language is the way we use these words to communicate. There are two parts to language: using words and gestures to say what we mean, and understanding what others say.

When do speech and language begin?

The fastest learning occurs between the ages of 2-5 years, although infants start learning in the womb when they hear and respond to familiar voices.

Speech and language milestones will help tell whether a child is developing as expected.

Babies usually start cooing at around 2 months and are babbling by about 6 months. Gibberish is often the language of children by their first birthday and by 15 to 18 months, a typical toddler understands much more than he or she is able to put into words. A talking burst usually takes place between 18 to 24 months. It is important to keep in mind, though, that the age at which children reach these milestones varies from child to child.

What helps a child to learn speech and language?

A child that is surrounded by speech and language all of the time usually learns these skills faster. Talking and reading to your child can have big effects on how well your child is able to communicate later.

Why do speech and language problems develop in some children?

There can be many causes for speech and language problems in children. Hearing loss and autism are just two of the many causes. It is important to track your child’s speech and language development. Many speech and language problems can be overcome with speech therapy, especially when started early.

When should you start speech therapy?

Talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about the way your child is developing. Speech Tails is an online, home-based, speech therapy program that offers a free assessment and report. The assessment will tell you how your child stands amongst his peers when it comes to speech and language development. The report will then suggest if your child would benefit from speech therapy. Speech Tails is a fun, interactive, speech therapy program that is available whenever your child is.

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