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Language Delay

Language delay means that a child is not able to use words or other forms of communication to share thoughts and feelings at the expected ages.

Children with language delays may not be able to talk or use other methods to communicate with other people. For example, they may not to able to use gestures such as smiling, waving their hands, or nodding their heads. They may also have problems understanding what other people say to them.

Language delays in children may have many different causes, including hearing problems, intellectual disability caused by Down syndrome or other genetic disorders, or mental health conditions.

Speech therapy is usually the main treatment for language delays.

Last Revised: December 21, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics

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