Why isn't the child talking yet?
The term delayed speech development is used colloquially for children whose language development starts later than average. The literature is not uniform in terms of the age at which the diagnosis can be made, as there are large individual differences.
What could be the cause of delayed speech development?
Proper hearing is essential to start speaking. It often happens that, despite a normal newborn hearing screening result, a hearing complaint develops at a later age. Even mild hearing loss of 25-30 dB significantly affects the development of language skills, if it persists for a long time. This is most often caused by a disturbance in the middle ear's ability to conduct sound, which can be caused by frequent recurrent respiratory catarrh, permanently enlarged tonsils, allergies, or dysfunction of the cochlea as a result of age or genetic predisposition.
Diseases of the organs responsible for the formation of speech sounds can also cause problems. Developmental disorders of the organs responsible for the production of sound, the larynx, pharynx, tongue, oral cavity changes, lips and palate also influence the development of appropriate speech.
Why is it important to deal with the problem in time?
During learning to speak, with adequate hearing, the brain pathways responsible for understanding speech are constantly developing. This maturation process is most intense in early childhood, but it also continues during school age, right up to young adulthood. If this process is disturbed at an early age, it can affect later speech perception and speech understanding, even if an organic cause can no longer be identified.
When should you consult a specialist?
In general, we recommend an examination if the child does not yet use meaningful words at the age of 2-2 and a half. During the investigation of delayed speech development, due to these aspects, an otolaryngological examination is essential.
Who should I contact?
The children's otolaryngologists working at the Duna Medical Center help to identify the problems.
Get to know our pediatric ear, nose and throat specialists:
Dr. Dóra Tinku