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Speech Delay Problems in Children


What causes speech problems in children?

Otitis media, also known as ear infection, sometimes occurs with fluid in the middle ear. This is called otitis media with effusion (OME). OME can cause your child to have speech and language development delays, especially when the fluid occurs in both ears for an extended period of time.

What are the signs and symptoms of speech delay in children?

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, child speech delay symptoms may include:

  • Your child does not say any full words by 16-18 months
  • Child does not understand simple instructions by about 18 months
  • Speech is hard to understand at age 3
  • Child does not use full sentences by age 3
  • Sentences are short or incorrect by age 4

When should I take my child to see a doctor for speech delay?

The best way to diagnose a speech delay is by visiting a speech specialist. Your family doctor may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if the speech delay is caused by an ear infection and needs treatment. Your New York ENT doctor can provide you with an evaluation of the condition and treatment options to help your child improve hearing and speech.

How is speech delay treated?

Because hearing and speech are closely related, an ENT doctor may require a hearing test to determine if an ear infection is the speech delay cause. If infection is causing speech delay, treatment options could include medication or surgical procedure, including ear tube surgery. Speak with a doctor at New York ENT to determine the best speech delay treatment options for your child.

If you believe your child may be suffering from speech delay, an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor may be able to help. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience treating a wide variety of ear and hearing pediatric conditions that may be the root cause of speech delay. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.

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