The failure of children to complete their expected developmental stages on time or to complete them late is defined as developmental delay. When developmental delay is mentioned, only the physical development of the child should not be considered. The degree of development in areas such as mental, emotional, social, motor and language should be observed and evaluated.
Normal development process of children
The organs necessary for newborn babies to speak are not yet developed enough to be controlled. Babies spend most of their day listening to their mother’s voice. However, he still expresses his different requests with different tones of crying, laughing and expressing them in their own language. Mothers and fathers who closely follow the development processes of children can detect potential problems such as late speech and walking late. Making nonsense and laughing are babies’ first attempts to speak. Generally, babies start using meaningful words after the age of one, and the process of learning new words accelerates from the 18th month. During this period, the development of babies’ vocabulary is also observed. Before the age of 2, children use gestures along with words, but after the age of 2, they start to use facial expressions less and begin to express themselves in sentences. When children are 4-5 years old, they can express their wishes and needs to adults without difficulty with long and complex sentences, and they can easily understand the events around them. The gross motor development of babies may also differ. For example, some babies take their first steps when they are one year old and some babies are 15-16 months old. Usually, babies start walking between 12 and 18 months.
When should children be suspected of late speech, late walking problems?
Children are expected to demonstrate their speaking and walking skills in the first 18-30 months. Children who are lagging behind in some skills may have skills such as eating, walking and toileting, while speaking may be delayed. Generally, all children have common developmental stages. However, some children can talk about their own developmental timing, so they can start talking earlier or later than their peers. In studies on late speech problem, it has been determined that children with language and speech disorders use few words. The sooner children have language and speech problems are noticed, the sooner the treatment will be. If the child develops more slowly than his peers between the ages of 24-30 months and cannot make up the difference with other children, the speech and language problem may grow even more. This problem can become much more complex by combining with psychological and social problems. If children talk to their teachers more than their peers in kindergartens and kindergartens and avoid playing games with other children, if they have difficulty expressing themselves, a specialist doctor should definitely be consulted. Likewise, if a child who has completed 18 months of age has not started to walk, does not crawl, does not hold on to an object and does not stand up, does not push with his legs while lying down, walking delay should be suspected and a specialist should see a specialist.
What disease can be a symptom of late talking and walking late in children?
Medical problems that occur before, during and after birth play an important role in infant development. Problems such as metabolic diseases, brain disorders, muscle diseases, infection and premature birth in the fetus affect not only the motor development of the child, but also the entire development. Developmental problems such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy can cause children to walk late. Children who have neurological problems such as hydrocephalus, stroke, referral, cognitive disorders and autism have problems in language and speech skills. It can be said that babies who reach 18 months of age and have difficulty playing with other children and cannot express themselves have speech and language problems, but these problems are also seen as a symptom of autism. The early recognition of walking and speech difficulties and immediate intervention can help to resolve problems more quickly.