While delayed speech or language in some children may not point to an expressive language disorder, some toddlers with a limited vocabulary for their age and exhibit other symptoms may be at risk of a speech or language disorder.
In particular, studies suggest that mild comprehension for their age, a family history of learning issues and speech and language problems, and using few gestures when communicating are indicators that a child could have continuing delayed speech or language. This may mean that a child is showing signs of a language condition (expressive or expressive/receptive language) also known as a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) or language impairment, as research calls it.
Know more about late-talking in this interview with Dr. Michelle Macroy-Higgins, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, speech-language pathologist, associate professor in the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Program at Hunter College, New York, and author of Time to Talk: What You Need to Know About Your Child’s Speech and Language Development. She speaks with speech-language pathologist, learning specialist, and Manhattan Letters CEO Craig Selinger about the signs and symptoms of late-talking and how to diagnose it in young children.
(Related: Know more about the relationship between language and learning disabilities.)
(Related: Everything You Need to Know If You Have a Toddler Who Is a Late Talker)
(You may also download our FREE pamphlet on Late Talking!)
During this early stage of expressive language and speech and language development, toddlers also begin to acquire and develop their narrative skills. This is crucial as young children expand their use of language and communication by retelling or describing stories, experiences, or past events. Narrative development is directly correlated with a child’s success in school and academic achievement.
Typically developing children commonly acquire all grammatical morphemes by age four (see chart below). But for children struggling with the narrative language or coping with a language delay, parents may notice some missing aspects in their child’s language skills. At Manhattan Letters, we work with students who struggle with narrative development.
Read about Early Childhood Developmental Milestones.