Does speech delay mean my child has Autism?
In a word NO. Speech delay can sometimes be just that. A delay your child will eventually recover and pick up from.
Children have many reasons for speech delay. First or only children can speak later than others as they have no siblings around. Your second child could be speaking much earlier.
Also you must consider that speech is only part of Communication. Communication means they want to connect with you and share their world and thoughts and feelings. Sometimes children show what we would call communicative intent without speech which could come later.
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When should I be concerned about speech delay?
You should consider speech delay a concern when it is later than the framework of usual milestones or is accompanied by a lack of communicative intent towards you or others. Consider if the child is more or less content to be doing their own thing a bit more than you feel they should. Or they seem to not notice you or what you want. Or resist being directed towards reasonable demands on them.
Are they oppositional and show mostly their own agenda behaviour? Any of those types of behaviours need looking in to even if just to reassure you.
Click on the tree for a developmental guide to ages and stages
I don’t want my child labelled without good reason
Investigating your concerns doesn’t always mean your child will be labelled. It is just good parenting to cover your bases and make sure that you are picking up on and doing all you can to make sure your child develops to the fullness of their potential. However if it turns out there is a need for treatment or intervention it is best to get the help early on or you are doing the child a disservice. Early intervention means better functioning and outcomes when they are older.
We talk about these concerns every day to parents call us or email we can advise and help you to get what you need
Call us to book a screening or assessment or just get some advice