HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD NEEDS TO SEE A SPEECH THERAPIST?

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD NEEDS TO SEE A SPEECH THERAPIST?

In my practice as a Speech Therapist, both in the private and public sectors, I have come across an alarming number of parents/caregivers who have elected to “wait to see” if their child’s speech and language development will eventually “catch up” on its own. They do this for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because someone else – someone who does NOT specialize in children’s speech and language development – suggested it. Unfortunately, this advice comes all too often from well-meaning relatives, friends, educators and/or doctors.

It is a fact that some children do catch up on their own. These children tend to have things going on that makes this more likely, such as intact hearing and age-appropriate understanding and social skills. But catching up is never certain, regardless of the variables that would make it more likely.

Your child may need speech therapy if he or she…

  • has not begun to say sounds or first words by age 12 months
  • is not putting 2-words together to make a two-word phrase by the age of 2 years (e.g., “want more”, “mama shoe”, etc)
  • does not seem to understand questions or directions:  
  • has speech that is difficult to understand
  • has a diagnosis of autism or other developmental delay
  • does not seem interested in developmentally appropriate play with toys 
  • has difficulty interacting socially with peers
  • cannot express themselves using sentences similar to peers
  • has a feeding disorder or is a picky eater
  • has a hearing loss

Early intervention is highly supported by research so be sure to see the advise of a Speech Therapist sooner rather than later! The biggest risk of a “wait and see” approach is the loss of opportunity for enrichment during the critical early period of brain development. This is the best time for parents of children with speech and language delays to be seen by a Speech & Language Therapist and to be educated on the best ways to help their children develop language skills. Gaps in children’s skills grow quickly, especially during this time of rapid development. If you are concerned about any aspect of your child's speech and language dealeopment..... talk us today 0800 4 SPEECH

Posted: Tuesday 26 September 2017