Parents often wonder if their child’s speech and language skills are developing on target. You might have some concerns about your child’s development, but feel hesitant to seek professional help. You might wonder if you’re overreacting, or feel unsure what skills to expect by certain ages. If you’ve ever shared these concerns, you’re certainly not alone. Here are a few guidelines to consider when deciding whether or not your child should see a speech-language pathologist.
When to Seek Help For Your Child’s Speech Development:
Here are a few red-flags that may indicate your child will benefit from speech-language therapy.
- Your child is not achieving developmental milestones. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is an excellent resource for information about developmental milestones. You can also download and watch a free copy of our popular Speech and Language in the Preschool Years Webinar Here.
- Your child often appears frustrated when trying to communicate.
- Your child seems reluctant or hesitant to communicate with others.
- Other people seem to have difficulty understanding your child.
- Your child appears lost when given verbal directions or information.
If you’re feeling concerned about your child’s development, than seek guidance from a licensed speech-language pathologist right away. Research strongly supports the benefits from intervening
early on, so it’s best not to delay. Rather than wait and let your concerns increase, bring your questions to a trained professional who can give you accurate information and determine any courses of action that may be needed. There is never harm in asking.
What can I expect from speech-language services?
A licensed speech-language pathologist will be able to provide parents with information about their child’s communication, and develop a plan to intervene if necessary. During and after a speech and language evaluation, parents can expect to:
- Learn whether or not their child demonstrates a delay or disorder in their communication
- Determine how to help their child’s communication blossom, both at home and in therapy
- Ask questions and share concerns about their child’s development
- Learn about typical speech-language development, and what to expect at certain ages
- Learn strategies to create a language-rich environment that will foster their child’s communication development
- Gain accurate information by a trained professional
- Gain information to share with teachers, babysitters, family members, and other important people in their child’s life
For more information about preparing for your child’s speech and language evaluation, see the previous post titled Preparing For Your Child’s Speech & Language Evaluation