Language Delays

Language Delays A language delay can be either a receptive, expressive, or mixed language delay.

A receptive language delay is considered a delay in understanding spoken language, such as when a child has difficulty carrying out multi-step directions, or when a child may answer a question with an answer that does not pertain to the question.
An expressive language delay may refer to a delay in putting words together, or a delay at a higher level, in which the child may not ask questions or use an age-appropriate sentence structure.

The majority of language delays, however, are combined, or a mixed receptive-expressive language delay, in which both comprehension and speaking are compromised at some level.

While a delay refers to a time factor, such as “my child’s expressive language skills are six months behind his chronological age,” a deficit refers to a language impairment that occur for either reasons, such as secondary to Autism, neurological disorders, or a Specific Language Impairment that is not-otherwise specified.

No matter the language delay type or severity, your child can and will benefit from individualized language therapy that addresses the language problem and solves it through evidence-based therapy practice.

Language Development Through the Years

18 Months

Has vocabulary of approximately 5-20 words

Vocabulary made up chiefly of nouns

Some echolalia (repeating a word or phrase over and over)

Much jargon with emotional content Is able to follow simple commands

2 Years

Can name a number of objects common to his surroundings

Is able to use at least two prepositions, usually chosen from the following: in, on, under

Combines words into a short sentence-largely noun-verb combinations (mean) length of sentences is given as two words

Approximately 2/3 of what child says should be intelligible

Vocabulary of approximately 150-300 words

Can use two pronouns correctly: I, me, you, although me and I are often confused

My and mine are beginning to emerge

Responds to such commands as “show me your eyes (nose, mouth, hair)”

3 Years

Use pronouns I, you, me correctly

Is using some plurals and past tenses Knows at least three prepositions, usually in, on, under

Knows chief parts of body and should be able to indicate these if not name Handles three word sentences easily

Has in the neighborhood of 900-1000 words

About 90% of what child says should be intelligible

Verbs begin to predominate

Understands most simple questions dealing with his environment and activities

Relates his experiences so that they can be followed with reason

Able to reason out such questions as “what must you do when you are sleepy, hungry, cool, or thirsty?”

Should be able to give his sex, name, age

Should not be expected to answer all questions even though he understands what is expected

4 Years

Knows names of familiar animals

Can use at least four prepositions or can demonstrate his understanding of their meaning when given commands

Names common objects in picture books or magazines

Knows one or more colors

Can usually repeat words of four syllables

Demonstrates understanding of over and under

Often indulges in make-believe

Extensive verbalization as he carries out activities

Understands such concepts as longer, larger, when a contrast is presented

Readily follows simple commands even thought the stimulus objects are not in sight

Much repetition of words, phrases, syllables, and even sounds

5 Years

Can use many descriptive words spontaneously-both adjectives and adverbs

Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heave-light, etc

Has number concepts of 4 or more Can count to ten

Should be able to repeat sentences as long as nine words

Should be able to define common objects in terms of use (hat, shoe, chair)

Should be able to follow three commands given without interruptions

Should be using fairly long sentences and should use some compound and some complex sentences

Speech on the whole should be grammatically correct

6 Years

Speech should be completely intelligible and socially useful

Should be able to tell one a rather connected story about a picture, seeing relationships

Between objects and happenings

7 Years

Should handle opposite analogies easily: girl-boy, man-woman, flies-swims, blunt-sharp short-long, sweet-sour, etc

Understands such terms as: alike, different, beginning, end, etc

Should be able to do simple reading and to write or print many words

8 Years

Can relate rather involved accounts of events, many of which occurred at some time in the past

Complex and compound sentences should be used easily

Should be few lapses in grammatical constrictions-tense, pronouns, plurals Should be reading with considerable ease and now writing simple compositions

Social amenities should be present in his speech in appropriate situations

Control of rate, pitch, and volume are generally well and appropriately established

Can carry on conversation at rather adult level

Follows fairly complex directions with little repetition

Has well developed time and number concepts

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