Does my child need speech or language therapy? A question many parents ask themselves at one time or another. Unfortunately, it is easy for a pediatrician or parents to overlook an atypical communication development. While it is easy to say your child will eventually catch up on their own, but that can come at a price. 

Why is Speech and Language Therapy Important? 

The process which a child develops communication significantly impacts their lives. From their social skills, academics and through adulthood. 

For example, if your young child is struggling pronouncing the ‘r’ sound, it may not seem like a big deal. But without intervention, they face significant challenges.  A child may have trouble talking with other children, speaking up in class, express their thoughts, reading comprehension, and this can stay with them as they grow up.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) identifies what is considered a speech sound disorder and the signs and symptoms to look out for:

Speech sound disorders is an umbrella term referring to any difficulty or combination of difficulties with perception, motor production, or phonological representation of speech sounds and speech segments—including phonotactic rules governing permissible speech sound sequences in a language.

    • omissions/deletions—certain sounds are omitted or deleted (e.g., “cu” for “cup” and “poon” for “spoon”)
    • substitutions—one or more sounds are substituted, which may result in loss of phonemic contrast (e.g., “thing” for “sing” and “wabbit” for “rabbit”)
    • additions—one or more extra sounds are added or inserted into a word (e.g., “buhlack” for “black”)
    • distortions—sounds are altered or changed (e.g., a lateral “s”)
    • syllable-level errors—weak syllables are deleted (e.g., “tephone” for “telephone”

While children develop at different rates, if you suspect your child has a speech or language disorder it is important to take action. Hoping they will outgrow the problem can negatively affect other aspects of your child’s life.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child, we encourage you to contact Orlando’s First Words Therapy. We take a holistic approach to speech-language-therapy to help your child communicate more effectively.