Is It Time to Consult a Speech and Language Pathologist About Your Child?

Parents often have no problem tending to their child's physical health, and that's wonderful. It's important to also care for their behavioral health and to call on professionals when they are having difficulties that may not be related to physical health, speech, for example. It's easy to overlook things such as the child who does not socialize, or the child who is having difficulties making certain sounds or speaking clearly. If your child is having problems with speech, the sooner you look into speech and language pathology, the better. Having your child assessed by an expert never hurts.

All Children Are Different

All children develop according to their timeline. Even within the same family, one child may be more verbal than another. That doesn't mean that something is wrong, and it's nothing to worry you. There are milestones to look for, and there are certain things that most children can do by a certain age, this is true with language as well as physical signs. However, just because your child does not hit the milestone, does not mean there is a problem, it's just something to watch for and mention to their pediatrician the next time you have an appointment.

You Have Excellent Instincts

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone. Trust your instincts.

  • Do you feel that your child is having problems with speech?

  • Do you struggle to decipher what your child is saying?

  • Do you worry that your child does not speak as clearly as other children his or her age?

If you have concerns, have your child checked out. If nothing is wrong, you've lost nothing, but you've gained peace of mind. If something is wrong, you'll have caught it early and can begin getting your child help.

Some Things to Look For

Children should be able to make certain sounds at a certain age.

  • By the time a child is 18 months old, they should be able to say 'no,' they should also understand simple words that you speak to them.

  • A child should be able to make the sounds pa, ma, and ba. They should also be able to put two words together.

  • By the age of four, they can say words with a 'g' or 'k' in them, and you should be able to understand it.

  • By three years of age, they should be able to have a conversation with you. They should be using longer sentences.

These are all things to look for when your child is young. If you notice your child not making sounds, understanding, or trying to put sentences together, it's a good idea to have them checked. Again, it may be nothing, but if it is something, get them the help they need as early as possible.

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