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Speech and Language: Frequently asked questions

Will my child outgrow her speech and language problems?

  • Although some children do outgrow their problem, it is always best to be on the safe side and ask for a professional opinion.
  • Neither you nor your child can afford to wait if there is a problem.

Should I wait until my child begins school to get help with a speech and language problem?

  • No, in the case of speech and language problems, the earlier you get help the better.
  • A child whose delay is identified early has a significantly better chance of developing skills that are necessary for success in school.
  • If you are concerned about your child's speech and language, arrange for an assessment.

What causes speech and language problems?

  • There is not always a known cause for a child's speech and/or language problem.
  • Certain factors, if present, are known to be associated or linked with a speech/language delay (For example, recurrent ear infections, hearing impairment and family history). Many children with speech/language delay have no associated risk factors.

Is it common for the younger children in families not to talk?

  • Birth order does not cause the delay - children with speech and/or language delays may be born first, second or fifth in a family.
  • It is true that parents need to support a child's talking attempts in a family where brothers and sisters tend to talk for each other.

Does bilingualism or multilingualism delay language development?

  • A child's first words generally appear around the same time, whether or not she is hearing more than one language.
  • Exposure to more than one language will not cause a longstanding speech and/or language delay.

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