May 8, 2015
Parents know their child best. As children age, watching for milestones across several areas of development is a key way to ensure your child is growing appropriately. Speech development can be a tricky milestone to look for as children, as in most things, progress in their own time. Knowing when it is time to bring in a speech therapist is a personal, parental decision but there are definitive signs to be aware of and to look for in your child. Should you opt to have a physician provide a diagnosis, seek the help of a specialist. Do not rely on your pediatrician to tell you if your child’s speech is normal. Consult a speech therapist.
Epic’s professionally trained speech therapists have treated thousands of children to overcome speech development difficulties.
Before the age of two there are many variations in children’s speech but, by the age of three, you should be able to understand just about everything your child says. If not, look closely for these caution signs:
- Non-responsive reading interplay. This occurs while looking at a book or reading material with your child, and you ask him “Can you find the car?” and he turns the page or just repeats your request without pointing to image.
- No normal or consistent reaction to sounds. This includes sensitivity to loud sounds or a lack of acknowledgement or interest when your child’s name is called.
- Responding to a question by repeating a part of the question. If you ask your child, “Do you want to go outside?” and he responds with “wan go out?” instead of nodding or saying “yes.” This can be an early sign of many speech-delayed issues.
- Using one common sound to name most things. “Duh” is common.
- Mispronunciation of vowels. For example if your child says “doon” or “doo” instead of “down.”
- A lack of development or change in your child’s language from month-to-month. No progression after several months can be indicative of a bigger issue.
- Omitting consonants and speaking predominantly in vowels. “Aw” instead “dog” or “a” instead of “dad” or “daddy.”
- A lack of frustration on the part of the child when you don’t know what your child wants, especially if your child either just gives up very easily or tries to get what he wants himself.
- Using a word once and then not using it again.
- Using single words only without progressing to sentences and phrases.
If you see any of these symptoms in your child, it is a great idea to consult a speech therapist…and the sooner, the better. At Epic, our speech-language pathologists evaluate, consult and help children communicate better. Children’s treatments may center on one or more of the following:
- Articulation and phonological processes
- Voice disorders
- Fluency disorders
- Feeding and swallowing
- Language form / sentence construction
- Language content / vocabulary
For more information about Epic’s pediatric speech therapy services for children, or to contact an office nearest you, please visit our website.