Child care

Speech and Developmental Delays in 4 Year Olds

Are you concerned that your 4 year old has a speech and/or developmental disorder. Here are some key factors that may help you decide whether or not your child really is experiencing speech and developmental disorders.

Signs of speech and developmental delays

Your child may be experiencing speech and developmental delays if

  • He cannot follow two directions at the same time
  • Cannot tell his first name and last name
  • Cannot understand picture directions
  • Cannot tell stories about what he did during the day
  • Does not ask you to do things for him
  • Cannot speak sentences of at least 3 – 4 words long
  • If you cannot understand what your child is saying
  • If your child is not asking you questions
  • Cannot distinguish between some shapes and sizes
  • Is not able recall atleast some events after listening to a story

What you should do if your child is experiencing speech and developmental delays

Early intervention is the key in countering speech and developmental delays and disorders. Here is what you can do at home.

  • Spend a lot of time communicating with your child. Talk, sing, make gestures and encourage him to make sounds.
  • Read stories to your child. Start with simple ones. It is even better if you read from a picture book while showing the pictures to your child. Act out some simple actions in the story and encourage your child to imitate them.
  • Help your child relate to some of the characters in the stories. Use silly voices and sound effects for each character.
  • Do not use ‘baby talk’ while talking to your child. Talk normally, but talk clearly and slowly.
  • Do not hesitate to seek professional help. Speech and occupational therapy may prove invaluable for your child..
  • Do not be hard on yourself. You need to stay calm in order to be able to help your child.

4 responses to Speech and Developmental Delays in 4 Year Olds

  1. Thanks for this article! These are great tips for talking to your 4-year-old child, whether or not s/he has a speech or language disorder. For children with language disorders, early childhood is a time when speech therapy can be tremendously effective because of the neural plasticity of the brain at that age. A good speech therapist, in addition to helping your child in therapy, can help you figure out what you are doing that is helpful for your child, so that you can do more of it and be even more beneficial to your child. Please don’t hesitate to see a speech therapist if you feel there is something wrong with your child’s speech or language development. If it turns out that everything is fine, you can stop worrying about it and have peace of mind; if there is something wrong, you can stop worrying about it and start working on it.

  2. My grandson doesn’t pronounce his”C” words, it comes out as “T” words.
    What can I do to get him started .

  3. My gandson has trouble with sayint his “C’s”, saying tow instead of cow etc. What can I do to help him .

  4. My 4 year old has just been diagnosed as having a speech disorder and needs to see a psycoligist. I have been told that i can expect to wait anything up to a year to be seen by one. I s this normal to wait this long. He is also due to have his tonsils and adenoids out and has to put Gromits into his ears. Would this have anything to do with his speech as his hearing is very bad at time of infection which he gets very often.

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