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How Do I Know If My Child Needs Speech Therapy?

Understanding Speech and Language Development

As a parent, you want the best for your child, especially when it comes to their development. Speech and language skills are crucial for communication and learning. Sometimes, children may need a little extra support, and recognizing the signs early on can make a big difference. 

A mother and child talking and laughing together

It’s important to remember that every child develops differently, so the milestones and skills below are general guidelines. If you notice your child struggling, falling behind in their milestones, or demonstrating any of the following signs it’s recommended to reach out to a professional to see if your child may benefit from an evaluation.

Signs Your Child Might Need a Speech-Language Evaluation

  1. Limited Vocabulary or Word Use: You notice that your child has a hard time using words to express themselves and/or has a smaller vocabulary than their peers.

  2. Difficulty Pronouncing Sounds: Your child has persistent difficulty pronouncing certain sounds and/or is difficult to understand.

  3. Trouble Understanding Instructions: Your child has difficulty understanding directions. You often have to repeat yourself multiple times, complete tasks for them, and/or you feel that they don’t often understand what is said to them.

  4. Lack of Social Interaction: Your child has trouble interacting with others, prefers to play by themselves instead of with you/others, or doesn’t respond when spoken to.

Early Intervention is Key!

When in doubt…don’t wait, evaluate! Even a short consultation with a licensed SLP can help you determine if your child should have might benefit from speech therapy. 

Child development through learning and playing

Early intervention for speech and language delays is crucial because it lays the foundation for your child's communication skills, impacting their learning, social connections, and confidence. Addressing these delays early not only helps prevent future challenges but also takes advantage of the brain's plasticity, making it easier for your child to learn and develop these essential skills, setting them on a path toward success in school and in life.

Remember, each child is unique, and delays in speech and language development don't always mean a lifelong struggle. Seeking professional help early can make a significant difference in your child's ability to communicate effectively and thrive in various aspects of their life.

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