Here’s how parents can help kids avoid language delays

About 1 out of 5 children learn to talk or use words later than others their age

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) --- Language delays are the most common types of developmental setbacks and the COVID-19 pandemic has made these problems worse for many at-risk kids who are not able to receive the outside support they need.

Crawling, walking and talking are milestones parents celebrate. Not all babies will meet them on time and sometimes parents are tempted to compare their child with others.

Language deficits are common developmental delays. Studies show about one out of every five children will learn to talk or use words later than others their age.

Supporting children with language delays can be challenging in under-resourced communities, especially during the pandemic. A new study compared toddlers whose parents had taken a language intervention training program to others whose parents did not.

The research suggests parents can help by allowing for pauses in your conversations, giving your child a turn to talk, even if they don’t reply. Also, react enthusiastically when your little one seeks attention with sounds. Respond to a child’s sounds with single words or simple phrases. And of course, frequent reading with your kids has been shown to help improve language.

When working on language with your child, keep background noise and distractions to a minimum. Studies show too much TV can actually delay language development because parents tend to not talk to their children when both are focused on TV.

About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.

Roslyn Jimenez is a news producer at KSAT. Before joining the team, she was a producer and video editor at KIII-TV and a radio intern in Corpus Christi. She graduated from Del Mar College with an Associate's degree in political science and liberal arts. Roslyn is family-oriented and loves spending time with her fiancé and chihuahua Paco.