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Kids Speech Problems

Updated on October 18, 2014

Baby Talk

Children learn to speak at different periods of time. There is no fixed age at which a baby should start talking.

As with other segments of development like sitting, standing and walking, speech comes to different children at different ages. Most children, by the age of one year, can say simple words like 'mama', 'papa' etc., but many children acquire this skill much later.

Children who have complication speaking or hearing are normally unable to play smoothly with other children or to partake adequately in an ordinary classroom pursuits. Improving childrens' speech problems have always been gradual and frustrating.

The speech pathologists do one's best with children who have speech, language and voice difficulties emerging from brain injury, cleft-palate, mental obstacle, emotional difficulties or other reasons.

The Maturation Factors

Kids Speech Problems
Kids Speech Problems | Source

The dissimilarity in age when a child starts talking is because of maturation factors. If the parents do not afford proper speech motivation to the children at the right age, the child may not start taking for longtime. It may also be a matter of character.

A quiet child who is happy scrutinizing and playing with things may not feel the need to converse or speak, whereas another child who is more gregarious and friendly may like to communicate orally and will start talking early. Maturation can be an ancestral factor. Speech tends to develop later in twins as contrasted to singles.

The first child in the family learns to speak earlier then the succeeding children. Girls have a tendency to speak earlier than boys. If you push the child to talk when he is not ready for it, it will be destructive. Persuading or pushing the child builds up resistance and delays speech. A dejected or unsatisfied child will not be easy to communicate with.

Baby Talk

Baby talk is quite general in each and every family. Often parents enjoying it when their children talk in a babyish way. Between two and four years, baby talk is normal. It is during 3rd and 4th years that most speech disorders begin.

If your child continues with baby talk beyond the age of four years, then something should be done about it. Children who talk in a babyish way further than the age of four years may have high frequency deafness - they do not hear sounds like "s", "ch", "th", "f", "t" etc.

But most children are not deaf or retarded, they just have poor standards of models of speech at home or they have a poor sense of prejudice of sounds. For instance, a child will pronounce 'come to' as 'tam to'. Similarly, the sound 'th' will be pronounced as 'f'.

There are many such omissions, additions and distortions of sounds in a child's speech.

Talk to them normally.

When the child is very young- talk to him normally, not in baby talk. Many parents like to use babyish language when they talk to their children. This is not good. Set an example of good pronunciation yourself so that the child can go behind it, if you start baby talking yourself, you cannot be expecting the child to improve.

Do not make your baby feel delightful when he does indulge in baby talk. This appreciation gives him the feeling that he is doing something intelligent and he will continue to talk this way to please you.

Do not make him repeat a word if he has made a mistake, this will make him feel inferior and let down. It is better to provide a good example of speech provided the words used are within his sympathetic and understanding.

In front of a mirror, pronounce the sounds which he makes mistakes with and get the child to repeat them. Make it a game and do not make him inferior. Once he has mastered the accurate pronunciations of the faulty sounds, go on to simple words, using these same sounds.

Childrens' Speech Problems - Books From Amazon

Causes for Delayed Speech.

There are many reasons for delayed speech. It may be due to a low level of intelligence, or loss of hearing. Or it may be due to poor teaching, poignant problems or a bad environment. The completely deaf child will never learn to speak.

If the child is partly deaf, he will learn to speak but may take a long time. A child may have high frequency deafness in both ears. Such children can hear a passing car, a radio or a knocking door but would miss many words used in human speech.

A simple test is to call the child gently from behind or another room when he is not looking at you. When speech has not developed fairly well by three years of age, Doctor's help should be sought.

Children who have experienced severe illnesses or who have been severely under--nourished, may take some time to talk. Children who have a cleft palate, hare lip, or other imperfections related to speech will also have defective speech.

We have been brought up with the general idea that all speech problems are due to tongue-ties, and if that little structure below the tongue is snipped off, a miracle will happen. This is far from the truth.

The frenulum (ligament beneath the tongue) is short in a new-born baby and as he grows, it tends to lengthen. When it is very short and the child cannot move his tongue freely, people call it a tongue-tie. It was normally believed that if this tongue-tie was cut and the tongue released, the child would start talking. Now we know that this tongue-tie has nothing to do with the capability to talk.


Stammering or stuttering is one of the most widespread speech problems in an older child. The Child hesitates, repeats, and prolongs a sound and finally gets out the word he wants to utter.

Many children hesitate, repeat, and prolong sounds, words or phrases when they first start talking. If no fuss or excessive attention is paid to it they will grow out of this habit by the time they are three or four, or may be a little later. Sometimes children do it because of anxiety and stress.

A severe scolding at home or at school, too much work, or severe illness, might also lead to faulty speech. Stammering tends to come from homes where there is excessive control and discipline, over-protection and perfectionism.

All these situations build up nervous tensions and anxiety. There is often a family history of stammering, perhaps a hereditary factor. Risk of stammering amongst first degree relatives is three or four times that in the general population. All these situations build up nervous tensions and anxiety.

Treatment for Stammering

Treatment for stammering typically consists of helping to alleviate any tension which is building up in the child. Make him feel sure and remove the cause of the anxiety. If you have been pushing him in his studies or in some other manner, alleviate the pressure on the child until he regains his self-confidence.

When the child speaks to you, listen to him tolerantly and do not try to hurry him. Some people have a habit of carrying out the word for a child, if he stammers. This does not help him in any way. Be patient and let the child take his own time while speaking.

Encourage him to read and narrate aloud and to sing. In the initial stages you may consult a psychologist. However, if stammering continues beyond four years of age, consult a speech therapist.

Speech problems in young children - Vid

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    • Adventuretravels profile image


      4 years ago from UK

      You are right - speech develops differently for each individual and the benchmarks are only indicators. Forcing a one size fits all approach makes things worse. Great lens.

    • asereht1970 profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks for this wonderful tips.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I like your approach for dealing with speech differences in children in a natural kind of way and going with each child's level of development. Speech and voice therapy can be so helpful. I knew a boy in grade school who was called Micael Squeek because his voice alway squeaked, and I sure didn't like when I heard other kids saying that. He moved but we ended up at the same High School. A new speech therapist came to our school who knew about voice therapy and within a few sessions Mike found his true voice, which was a little deep and very pleasant....he was amazed and it changed his life since he went on to become an attorney.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      5 years ago

      You are right - every child does things at their own pace. being aware of their progresss and helping to nuture (without pressure) is a great approach,

    • sukkran trichy profile imageAUTHOR

      sukkran trichy 

      5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      @anonymous: sorry for your daughter. better contact your doctor for proper guidance.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi! My daughter is 3 since September and her speech was very good and clear. Due to circumstances she now spends time with a child who has a problem with speech and I find my daughters speech is now suffering. I am wondering if anyone knows if this will have along tem affect? A concerned mother...

    • VspaBotanicals profile image


      6 years ago

      Very very inspiring and helpful lens. I hope all parents and grandparents view this lens.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana

      It is good to know kids and their speech evolve with very different speed. And if somebody is too slow in one area there are many ways to help. Thanks for all the info!

    • Camden1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I've known a few kids who didn't talk much at all, but when they did start talking it was in complete sentences.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great information. I enjoyed your lens.

    • sponias lm profile image

      sponias lm 

      7 years ago

      Children are very sensitive. Problems in their speech can have serious consequences. This is why these problems must be corrected the fastest possible. One of my cousins had a problem in his speech from the beginning, but he didnt have the right treatment. Until today he speaks like a child, even though he is already a man.

    • efriedman profile image


      7 years ago

      Children's speech is an important topic. Thank you for putting together this lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      We should care of our children, therfore I support this lens. Anna background checks on people

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for providing this information about specch problems in childrenYou can check out this SwagBucks tutorial site to learn more about the possibilities of earning great rewards online

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi, you have a cool lens here and i find it very informative. Check out my site about free credit score. I'm sure you can find lots of information in there which you might need. Thanks, Domz.

    • malen75 profile image


      8 years ago

      my nephew has a speech problem and my sister notice it when he was one year old...she hires a speech therapist and we are really seeing a lot of improvements.malen of curtains and window treatment)

    • blue22d profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens. ***** to you. Very helpful information. I want to share another side of communication: My first granddaughter was taught signing and I do believe it help her to communicate during the tough times when she was not old enough to speak or form certain sounds. She had a good size signing vocabulary to use and did well at it. She had other health issues and it was easy for her to communicate when she didn't feel well, if she hurt (had breathing problems, ear problems) and overall was less frustrated when trying to explain her problem. It seemed patience was learned by all and mom, dad and baby were happy for it. Thanks again.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Your lens is very helpful. I found an interactive software which helps to improve speech delayed problems and help build vocabulary on toddlers and young children with special needs. SeeMe SPEECH COACH has been very effective in the learning process of the children. I hope you could share it with others too. website:

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What an awesome lens thank you for sharing! Gave you 5*.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      great lens with lot of useful informations. great work *****


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