Know the Signs of Speech and Language Disorders

Reila Zimmerman, M.S., CCC-SLP

Licensed Speech and Language Pathologist

318 Main Street, Millburn, NJ 07041





Here is a helpful guide published by American Speech and Hearing Association.  Please contact me for additional information.



Know the Signs of Speech and Language Disorders


Signs of common speech and language disorders in adults and children between birth to 4 years of age, an important stage in early detection of communication disorders.


Children: Signs of a Language Disorder


Does not smile or interact with others (birth and older)

Does not babble (4-7 months)

Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7-12 months)

Does not understand what others say (7 months-2 years)

Says only a few words (12-18 months)

Words are not easily understood (18 months-2 years)

Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5-3 years)

Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2-3 years)

Has trouble with early reading and writing skills (2.5-3 years)


What Parents Can Do

Listen and respond to your child

Talk, read, and play with your child

Talk with your child in the language you are most comfortable using

Know it is good to teach your child to speak a second language

Talk about what you are doing and what your child is doing

Use a lot of different words with your child

Use longer sentences as your child gets older

Have your child play with other children


Children: Signs of a Speech Sound Disorder


Says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words (1-2 years)

Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words (2-3 years)

Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2-3 years)



What Parents Can Do

Say the sounds correctly when you talk—it is okay if your child makes some mistakes with sounds

Do not correct speech sounds—it is more important to let your child keep talking



Children Signs of Stuttering (Disfluency)


Struggles to say sounds or words (2.5-3 years)

Repeats first sounds of words—”b-b-b-ball” for “ball” (2.5-3 years)

Pauses a lot while talking (2.5-3 years)

Stretches sounds out—”f-f-f-f-farm” for “farm” (2.5-3 years)


What Parents Can Do

Give your child time to talk

Do not interrupt or stop your child while he or she is speaking

See an SLP if you are concerned (Many young children stutter for a short period of time. In most cases, the stuttering will stop.)


Know the Signs of Hearing Loss



Lack of attention to sounds (birth-1 year)

Does not respond when you call his/her name (7 months-1 year)

Does not follow simple directions (1-2 years)

Shows delays in speech and language development (birth-3 years)

Pulls or scratches at his/her ears

Difficulty achieving academically, especially in reading and math

Socially isolated and unhappy in school

Persistent ear discomfort after exposure to loud noise (regular and constant listening to electronics at high volumes)


What Parents Can Do

See an audiologist if your child did not pass the newborn hearing screening

See an audiologist if you have any concerns about your child’s hearing (some hearing losses can begin months or years after birth)

Ask your audiologist about the need for hearing aids or cochlear implants


Quoted from:

Quoted from “Identifying the SIgns”–


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