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Language delay

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • speech (1)
    • is a motor act of communication through articulation of verbal expression (2)
    • is the sound that originates in the mouth
    • it should be differentiated from language
  • language (1)
    • is the knowledge of a symbol system used for communication between persons (2)
    • is associated with meanings, rather than sounds
    • is a measure of intelligence
    • language delays are more serious than speech delays
  • speech and language delays and disorders are the most common developmental problem among preschool children
  • about 6% of 3 to 4 year old children show significant delay in speech development, the condition being more common in boys and often having a family history.
  • speech delay is said to be present if speech development is significantly below the norm for children of the same age (2)

Note: There is a very wide range of normal development. For example the parents of a 2 year-old boy with obviously normal development but a vocabulary of only 10 to 20 words may be comparing him with the little girl of similar age in the same street but with a vocabulary of 200 words. Both are within the normal range.


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