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
Treatments and Therapies
- Speech-Language Therapy (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)
- 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
- Your Starting Guide To Childhood Apraxia of Speech (Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America)
- 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: PACS1 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: The value of diffusion tensor imaging for differentiating autism spectrum disorder...
- Article: The influence of preterm birth on expressive vocabulary at the age...
- Article: The impact of advanced maternal age on the outcomes of very...
- 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)