Is your child not talking yet?
What are normal stages of speech and language development? Many parents and doctors are well versed with motor development schedule but not many know about speech development milestones. Parents are often advised to wait for their child to start talking; but how long should parents wait? What about early intervention? Children learn to speak in the first five years of their life. It is important for parents, caregivers and family to understand what is normal and when do children need intervention? The stages of speech development are very easy to remember. By one year, children are speaking their first words. By 2 years, children are combining two words to communicate. By 3 years, children are combining three content words. Vocabulary is constantly increasing and is 80% complete by the time child reaches 5 years. If your child is falling behind in these stages, it is necessary to go for early intervention so that the child gets time to cope with the delay in speech and language before the child starts schooling. Speech is founded on our hearing. Newborn hearing screening is still in its infancy in India. Hearing disorders are often missed till much later when the speech development time has passed away. Early intervention is of immense value when it comes to speech and language development. Sometimes child may need intervention from the rehabilitation team including audiologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist, dietician, etc. Parental stimulation and following up of speech exercises and activities at home is highly recommended and advised.