It is important to identify the early indicators of speech
It is important to identify the early indicators of speech, language and communication delays and disorders to prevent future impact on a child’s cognitive, social, learning and behavioural development.
As a species we require speech and language for learning and without the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, gesturing and listening, a person will struggle to express themselves or organise thoughts internally and externally and develop abstract thinking. As a child ages and their rate of language development falls behind the expected patterns this child’s parents or other adults may recognise that the child shows unusual reactions, or lack of reaction, to sensory stimuli such as being either over or under responsive to their environment. If the child shows over responsiveness to stimuli they are at risk to being easily distracted, display traits of anxiety or depression and run the risk of shutting down emotionally. Children who are under responsive to sensory stimuli in most cases navigate their surroundings independently in search of increased stimuli. These individuals often move from point A to B in a hurried pace and when in a social interaction likes to frequently touch and sniff others or objects.
As the child is unable to gesture you will find that a common cue towards recognition of a speech and language issue would be how they use their hands for example the child may not point at an object to direct another person to look at it or demonstrate unusual or repetitive hand and finger mannerisms when trying to communicate.
As a child ages and their rate of development falls behind the expected patterns this child will be unable to demonstrate social communication, interactions or imagination, leading to social isolation. These children show characteristics of selfishness, self-entitlement and will push the limits of their relationships with others. Some children will act out in frustration, throwing tantrums or becoming physically aggressive or they may demonstrate their frustration by avoiding social interactions in favour of isolated play or exploration such as walking the corridors independently, avoiding eye contact with passers-by. What I often find with individuals on the autism spectrum they not only avoid eye contact but looks through people almost as if they are unaware of others present around them. These children do not show typical interest in, or play near peers purposefully and lack initiation of activity or social play such as turn taking.
Early identification of speech and language delays and disorders means that children can receive the appropriate interventions to correct the problems or at least improve the chances of the child getting their development back in line with those in their age group. The child can move towards using effective communication to express themselves and understand others avoiding future complications with self-esteem, the ability to construct meaningful relationships without the fright of being isolated or bullied.