Treatment of the Child Who Has Not Learned To Talk
Types of delayed speech. Many parents and elementary teachers bring children to the speech correctionist with the complaint that these children have not learned to talk or cannot learn to talk. Indeed, some of the children have no speech, relying upon grunts and gestures for all communication. Others seem to have considerable vocalization, but it is so distorted and bizarre that the parents are convinced the child speaks a language of his own. Still others present a history of early speech with a loss of the ability to speak after an illness, accident, or emotional shock. All of these disorders are usually classified under the term "delayed speech."
Causes of delayed speech. In the treatment of delayed speech it is very important that a very careful and thorough study of the child's development and environment be made. Every child will learn to talk unless some important factor is preventing speech acquisition. In no other speech disorder is it so necessary to find and eliminate the cause, and the teacher should leave untapped no source of information which might lead to a knowledge of the origin of the child's lack of intelligible speech.
The common causes of delayed speech, all of which should be considered in exploring the child's history, are: low mentality, deafness, poor coördinations due to disease