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You are in: Home > Articles > Delayed Language

Delayed Language

The following information was supplied by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

The first five years of a child's life are crucial for language development
Language involves thought processes, grammar, meaning, memory and words
Parents, relatives and friends play an important part in encouraging language development

How to help

Delayed language in children can be:

a) Developmental delay - not achieved at the expected time
b) Acquired delay - through injury or illness

Either of these may result in:

• difficulty in understanding speech
• difficulty in thinking of words
• difficulty in putting words together into sentences
• difficulty with grammar
• difficulty in saying sounds and /or words
• reading and writing difficulties


• encourage your child to get their message across in whatever way they can, such as by pointing, using gestures, as well as with speech
• encourage your child to talk about everyday things
• ask for a hearing test if you are concerned about your child's understanding
• get your child's full attention when talking to them, and give yours
• show interest in what your child says
• contact a registered speech and language therapist if you are worried about your child's language development


• correct the child's pronunciation. It is more important for a child to learn words and start forming sentences than to pronounce everything correctly
• show obvious concern about a child's communication; children can sense anxiety

Support organisations:

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

British Dyslexia Association
Dyspraxia Trust

Other articles supplied by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

Disorders of Fluency in Children (Stammering)
Speech Sound Difficulties
Voice Problems in Children
What is the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists?

More information on speech and language difficulties


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