Nearly 1 in 12 (7.7 percent) U.S. children ages 3-17 has had a disorder related to voice, speech, language, or swallowing in the past 12 months.(1) Speech delay is classified as a neurological delay syndrome. As with all conditions there is a spectrum of severity that envelopes the condition. Boys on average start to develop speech later than girls. most children begin to form words around 15 months and by 18 months most can say about 50 words.
There are many reasons that children can have speech delay. Children that have suffered neglect or abuse often times have speech problems. Children that suffer with chronic ear infections are also susceptible. When a child has fluid in the inner ear that cannot escape, their speech is delayed because they are unable to hear clearly. Because children have Eustachian tubes that are anatomically more horizontal than adults they are more difficult to drain. This anatomical consideration makes them more susceptible to chronic ear infections and speech delay.
Autism Spectrum disorders are also a major cause of speech delay, especially in the last 15 years with the dramatic rise in incidence. Another less known cause is central nervous system interference at the upper neck region, termed vertebral subluxation. Childbirth can be especially traumatic on a young babies neck causing neurological complications (2,3)
When a child is delivered there are several things that can happen that can cause neck injury. When a child is either vacuum extracted or forceps delivered extreme amounts of forces can be exerted on the child’s neck. Many times these procedures save the child’s life , however they can also cause damage to the soft tissue of the upper cervical spine resulting in atlas or axis subluxation(4). An atlas or axis subluxation causes nervous system insult and can result in many abnormal functional problems to the developing child.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic care is a procedure that deals with the structural relationship of the atlas (c-1) and axis (c-2) and the brain-stem. This critical area is important to every function of a person's body. The Autonomic nervous system(automatic) is controlled and regulated in the brains-stem. If the top two bones in the neck have misaligned from their bio-mechanical norm then this can interfere with normal function of the body including speech development (1)
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Doctors specialize in correcting these structural abnormalities. Objective testing is used to determine the presence or absence of subluxation. Once determined it exists precise digital imaging is used to determine the direction of misalignment. Then a gentle force is delivered along a precise angle to correct the abnormal position . Once corrected the nerve irritation is removed and the central nervous system can function as intended. We have had numerous kids in our offices with different developmental problems either resolve or improve by correcting the upper cervical spine.
If you would like to consult our office we offer a free consultation . You can schedule in our office by calling 310 324-6172 for our Carson office or 213 399-7772 for our Los Angeles office. Or you can schedule online at by clicking this link .
Wishing you good health!
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