Wondering when your child will speak? Or are you having trouble understanding what your toddler says? It’s a concern many parents and caregivers have, and rightly so, a child’s speech has a big impact on their overall life. In fact, studies show poor language skills can result in difficulties in school, even encourage bullying, and go as far as making it difficult to get a job.

Is it time for you to contact a speech therapist?

A speech therapist is clinically trained with extensive experience, which they continuously improve upon by remaining current with evidence-based evaluation and therapy practices. According to American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), a speech therapist can help with a variety of language issues:

Speech disorders occur when a person has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently (e.g., stuttering is a form of disfluency) or has problems with his or her voice or resonance.

Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). 

Social communication disorders occur when a person has trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. These disorders may include problems (a) communicating for social purposes (e.g., greeting, commenting, asking questions), (b) talking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and (c) following rules for conversation and story-telling. 

Cognitive-communication disorders include problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving. These disorders usually happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia, although they can be congenital.

Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.

Early Intervention Is Key

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s language or speech development, it is important to have them evaluated by a speech therapist. The earlier you get them treatment, the easier it is for everyone. 

Warning Signs Of A Speech Delay

While every child develops speech differently, as they grow their language skills should be getting better. By their second birthday, they should start putting words together. Such as “my cup” or “more cookies”. Those not familiar with your child should be able to understand about half of what your child says. By 3 years old, just about everyone should understand what they say. 

Learn more about speech, language, and hearing development milestones at ASHA, “How Does Your Child Hear and Talk”.

What To Expect In Speech Therapy 

First your child will be evaluated. Then an individualized treatment plan will be designed specifically for your child. Which may include language activities such as, modeling sounds, playing, and talking. They also may use articulation therapy. including learning how to pronounce different sounds, swallowing, and feeding.

If you aren’t sure if your child is on track with their speech or language development, contact First Words Therapy for an evaluation. We are dedicated to providing personalized care to meet your child’s needs.