Top 5 Causes Of Speech & Language Delay In Children

Top 5 Causes Of Speech & Language Delay In Children

Top 5 Causes Of Speech & Language Delay In Children

As parents, hearing your child’s first words is one of life’s most precious milestones. From that point on, you become highly conscious of their progress and will likely speak to other parents to find out if your child’s speech is on par with that of other kids his or her age.

When you find that your child seems to be falling behind and experiencing speech delays, it can feel exasperating. You would probably end up asking yourself, “why and how did this happen?”

In this article, we discuss the 5 common causes of speech and language delay in young children and where you can seek help for your little one.

An introduction to speech and language delays

So, what are speech and language delays?

Generally, a child has a speech delay if their verbal abilities are behind the expected developmental milestones. This could include having trouble understanding what is heard or read, having problems with putting words together to form meaning or having issues with pronunciation and articulation.

In the last five years, there has been a 25% increase in the number of young children receiving developmental delay diagnoses in Singapore, according to a Straits Times report. Experts had noticed alarming indicators of a rise in speech and development delay cases among children due to pandemic-induced habits. For instance, mask-wearing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a decrease in non-verbal communication (facial expressions, gestures, body language etc.), which makes up for approximately 70% of our communication. The fact that children with speech and language disorders heavily rely on being able to observe a speaker’s lip movements is not aided by this either.

Causes of speech and language delays in children

It is of paramount importance that parents and caregivers comprehend the various factors that could contribute to a child’s speech and language delay, as well as why a complete, professional evaluation may be required for an appropriate diagnosis and course of therapy.

Here are 5 common causes of speech and language delays in children:

1. Issues with hearing

An individual’s sense of hearing is an integral aspect of speech. Speech development is interfered with when a child is unable to hear words or sounds well enough to repeat them. Their inability to hear can lead to problems with pronunciation, tone, emphasis and articulation overall because their brains are unable to recognise and interpret sounds properly.

2. Autism

Delays in expressive and receptive language are among the developmental issues that are present in autism spectrum disorder. Communication and social interactions are often lifelong problems for individuals diagnosed with autism, but treatment with early intervention or occupational therapy for kids can help improve their condition significantly.

3. Aphasia

Damage to a particular region of the brain that regulates language expression and comprehension can result in aphasia, which is a language impairment. A person with aphasia finds it difficult to interact with others. Aphasia is a common side effect of stroke.

4. Apraxia of speech

Children who have this neurological condition frequently have trouble producing the proper sounds for the proper words, which makes it challenging for others to understand what they are saying. Apraxia of speech is characterised by the inability to carry out speech movements and gestures, although having the physical capacity and desire to do so.

Both apraxia of speech and aphasia can both be brought on by brain trauma, most frequently to the left side of the brain. Apraxia of speech, however, differs from aphasia in that it affects the more muscular parts of speech production rather than the language ability.

5. Intellectual disabilities

Language delays can result from a range of intellectual disorders. For instance, language delays can be brought on by dyslexia, a learning disorder that involves challenges with reading due to difficulty identifying speech sounds and comprehending how these sounds relate to words. If you suspect that your child has this learning disorder, it is vital to get them a dyslexia assessment in Singapore from a specialist.


You’re not alone if your child seems to be having trouble with their speech and language abilities. The good news is that most children are able to develop the abilities required to overcome the delay with the right early childhood intervention program.

Here at Singapore Brain Development Centre, we have curated a holistic and integrative speech therapy for toddlers program that can be incredibly beneficial for your child struggling with speech and language delays. Our team of educational therapists are qualified to provide a thorough therapy programme that incorporates your child’s physical, language, emotional, and cognitive skills — rather than just concentrating solely on speech therapy.

As Singapore’s leading brain development centre, we have worked with thousands of children for the past 16 years. We are committed to helping each and every child overcome their cognitive weaknesses and reach their fullest potential with our comprehensive and individualised cognitive development plans.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with us, do not hesitate to contact us today!

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