Children vary in their development of speech and language skills. Health care professionals have lists of milestones for what's normal. These milestones help figure out whether a child is on track or if he or she may need extra help. For example, a child usually has one or two words like "Hi," "dog," "Dada," or "Mama" by her first birthday.
Sometimes a delay may be caused by hearing loss. Other times it may be due to a speech or language disorder. Children who have speech disorders may have trouble making speech sounds correctly. They may hesitate or stutter when talking. Children with language disorders might have trouble understanding what others say or difficulty sharing their thoughts.
If you have concerns about your child's speech or language development, talk to your child's health care provider.
NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
- Delayed Speech or Language Development (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Speech and Language Delay (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Speech and Language Developmental Milestones (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) Also in Spanish
- Speech and Language Impairments (Center for Parent Information and Resources) Also in Spanish
- A Toddler's Screen Time Tied to Speech Delay (05/04/2017, HealthDay)
Treatments and Therapies
- Speech-Language Therapy (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech Family Start Guide (Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America)
- Developmental Dyspraxia (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- Language Delays in Toddlers: Information for Parents (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Specific Language Impairment (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) Also in Spanish
- Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia) (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
- Genetics Home Reference: 17q12 duplication (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: cerebral folate transport deficiency (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: FOXP2-related speech and language disorder (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: Nicolaides-Baraitser syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: SATB2-associated syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Language Disorders (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Language Outcomes at 7 Years: Early Predictors and Co-Occurring Difficulties.
- Article: Dysarthria and broader motor speech deficits in Dravet syndrome.
- Article: Audiovisual materials are effective for enhancing the correction of articulation...
- Speech and Language Problems in Children -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Directory of Organizations (Deafness and Communication Disorders) (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
- Going to a Speech Therapist (Nemours Foundation)