Archive Exploring the Factors Behind Speech Delay in Kids

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As a father, I understand the worry parents feel when their kids experience difficulty in speaking. Many parents wonder what causes speech delay. Is it inherited or acquired? Unfortunately, a child can develop speech delay even without any genetic predisposition. Thankfully, speech delay can be both treated and prevented. But before anything, you need to understand what causes speech delay and how it can affect a child’s development. Speech delay can impact children’s social, emotional, and academic growth. It can also lead to frustration and low self-esteem. In this blog, we will delve into the various causes of speech delay and the impact it can have on a child’s life. We’ll also give you tips and strategies to treat or prevent speech delay.


Understanding Speech Delay

As kids grow up, they pass through different speech and language development milestones. By age one, they should be able to say simple words like “mama” and “dada.” By age two, they should be able to use simple phrases and understand simple commands. And by age three, they should be able to use more complex sentences and engage in conversations. Speech delay, also known as delayed language development, is the case when a child is not meeting these milestones.

Speech delay is more common than you might think. About 20% of children experience a delay in speech or language development compared to their peers. The point is to address this delay early on because it can hamper kids’ social, emotional, and academic growth, and it can cause frustration and low self-esteem for kids.

So, if you notice any signs of speech delay, like a lack of babbling, difficulty pronouncing words, or a lack of interest in communicating, speak with your pediatrician or a speech-language therapist. Early intervention matters a lot.


Speech therapist practicing articulating sounds with a child who has speech delay problem


Common Causes of Speech Delay

At the beginning of this blog, I mentioned that inherited and acquired factors can cause childhood speech delays. Let’s see what these factors are.


Genetic and Inherited Factors

One of the biggest speech delay causes is genetic and neurological factors. Some children have a genetic predisposition to language and speech difficulties. Not to mention that some neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy or autism, also affect a child’s communication ability.

Another common cause of speech delay is hearing loss and ear infections. Kids who cannot hear properly tend to have trouble learning language skills.

Lastly, developmental disorders and disabilities such as Down syndrome or intellectual disabilities also contribute to speech delay.


Acquired Factors

Excessive screen time and a lack of social interaction are among the environmental factors that can hinder language development. Screen time can interfere with kids spending time interacting with others and practicing language skills.


Child hooked on his smartphone screen


The Link Between Excessive Screen Time and Speech Delay

How does screen time affect language development? Well, research published by the National Institutes of Health suggests that young children who spend too much time in front of screens have a higher risk of language delays. Too much screen time can come at the cost of cutting face-to-face communication short, which is necessary for language development. It can also lead to children spending less time with their peers, hanging out, and playing, which is crucial for practicing language skills and developing social skills.

Now, the question is how much screen time is too much. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 18 months, except for video chatting with family and friends. It also advises parents to limit their 18-24 months old infants’ screen time to high-quality programming accompanied by a guardian. For children ages 2-5 years, AAP suggests screen time should be limited to one hour per day.


Strategies for Preventing and Addressing Speech Delay

There are many things you can do to help your little one’s speech and language development. Here are some strategies to prevent and address speech delay:

  • Talk to your child often, using simple language and responding to their attempts to communicate. Reading books together and singing songs can also help.
  • Create a language-rich environment at home by labeling objects and describing actions, encouraging your child to repeat words and phrases, and engaging in conversation during everyday activities like mealtime and bath time.
  • Balance screen time with other activities that support language skills, such as playing with toys, drawing, and imaginative play.

If you suspect your child has a speech delay, seek professional help and early intervention. A speech-language pathologist can evaluate your child’s speech and language skills and provide therapy if needed.


Tutor doing speech therapy with children


How Can Safes Protect Your Child Against Excessive Screen Time? 

Any parent can agree that controlling children’s screen time is one of the toughest tasks in their parenting journey. Because screens offer so much fun, kids would hardly put them down just by parents asking! But what if there is a tool that can make the job ten times easier!

The Safes parental control app with its user-friendly interface and advanced features, allows you to monitor and control your child’s device usage, limiting the amount of time they spend on screens and protecting them from the risks of excessive screen time, including speech delay.


Whether you want to restrict access during certain times of the day, block inappropriate content, or set up a daily usage limit, Safes has got you covered. So why not give it a try and give yourself peace of mind knowing your child is safe and healthy? The good news is that Safes is available on all platforms (Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac). Wish to learn more about putting parental controls using Safes? Follow the links below:


What Causes Speech Delay?: Conclusion

Speech delay is a common concern among parents and caregivers. It can significantly impact a child’s development, causing social, emotional, and academic difficulties. As we have discussed, what causes speech delay can be a complex issue involving both genetic and environmental factors, including excessive screen time. Thankfully, there are strategies that you can use to prevent and address speech delays, such as seeking professional help and early intervention. Besides, tools like the Safes app can help you control your little one’s screen time and protect them from the risks of excessive screen time.

Reza Ardani

Reza Ardani

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