The right time to talk to a Speech Language Pathologist, "Speech Therapist" about your child's speech and articulation skills and decide if your child needs speech therapy is when you are concerned. Speech Therapists treat children from infancy thru adulthood. It is never to early to have a screening or assessment. Many children are late talkers and a trained Speech Therapist can help determine if treatment is needed or if a wait and see approach is in fact the proper course. Late talking can indicate speech and language difficulty that may require treatment.
All children may utter oddly sounding words and sentences, mispronounce some sounds and may even be difficult to understand before the age of three. By 3 years of age a child's speech is normally 75-100% intelligible by their parent. If you have a hard time understanding your child a Speech Therapist and speech therapy at Take Home Speech can help!
You should contact a speech language pathologist when your child:
Is extremely quiet or does not babble
Uses no first by 18 months of age
Cannot be understood by others at 4 years of age
Has a hoarse voice that is not due to an upper respiratory infection
Seems disinterested in communicating or echoes what you say
Becomes easily frustrated when talking
Has difficulty eating or swallowing
Has irregular breathing, shortness of breath or whispers when talking
Trust your instinct! You know your child best. You may have been advised to wait a few months or longer before seeking out a Speech Language Pathologist. While well-meaning, this advise may not be beneficial for your child. Most parents know if all is not typical with their child's development and the sooner therapy begins the sooner your child will benefit.
Take Home Speech LLC located in Soldotna and Kenai Alaska offer online speech language and feeding therapy across Alaska. Low caseloads and individualized care provide your child with the most effective and evidence based practice in the comfort of your own hom.
Bowen, C. (2011). Typical speech and language acquisition in infants and young children. Retrieved from http://www.speech-language-therapy.com on (10/17/2015)
Bowen, C. (1998). Typical speech Development: the gradual acquisition of the speech sound system. Retrieved from http://www.speech-langauge-therapy.com/acquisition.html on (11/2/2009)
Is your child under 3?
Contact your local Infant Learning Program located across the state. You can find your program by visiting:
Is your child over 3? Contact your school district "Child Find" for free developmental testing of speech and language skills, fine motor, academic readiness skills and more! This can determine if your child qualifies for free services.
Please keep in mind, school districts can only offer services if the child's skills are delayed enough to impact them academically. Many children still benefit from speech language therapy because of the social impact that speech language and feeding disorders can have. See blog: Why School Based Therapy Is Not Enough: 5 Myths