What causes speech delay?
Speech delay occurs in up to 10 percent of children. The most common causes of speech delay include:
- Hearing loss
- Slow development
- Mental retardation
Other causes include:
- Psychosocial deprivation (the child doesn't spend enough time talking with adults)
- Being a twin
- Autism (a developmental disorder)
- Elective mutism (the child just doesn't want to talk)
- Cerebral palsy (a movement disorder caused by brain damage)
Why might living in a bilingual home affect my child's language and speech?
The brain has to work harder to interpret and use 2 languages, so it may take longer for children to start using either one or both of the languages they're learning. It's not unusual for a bilingual child to use just one language for a while.
Evaluation and Management of the Child with Speech Delay by AKC Leung, M.B.B.S. and C Pion Kao, M.D. (American Family Physician June 01, 1999, http://www.aafp.org/afp/990600ap/3121.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff