How to Tell That Your Child Could Benefit From Speech Therapy
This post is in collaboration with Better Speech. Read full disclosure here.
Watching your kids reach the key milestones of their lives in an exciting time for their parents. Each child learns speech and communication skills at their own pace. Sometimes, picking up speech skills is challenging, and kids struggle to talk or to understand what is said to them. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association specifies the typical ages when kids should reach their milestones.
While every kid learns at their own pace, if you think the child may have delays, an evaluation from a trained speech-language pathologist can help. They’ll let you know whether the support of a professional will best help your child continue to build on their skills. Getting speech therapy at a young age can provide that gentle push in the right direction.
Speech Development is Rapid in the First 12 Months
Not acquiring these skills within the first 12 months could indicate the need for speech therapy for kids. Here are some of the abilities most children develop before their first birthday:
- By 3 months – The child responds to sounds of voices and general noise and seems to recognize their parents particular voices. They may start making cooing sounds and express their needs with varied crying sounds.
- By 6 months – The child follows sounds, music, and tones emitted by their toys. They also seem to understand changes in tones when adults speak to them. They make babbling sounds, giggle, and laugh. Kids also learn to vary the sounds they make to convey being sad, happy, or enjoying a toy or play-action you use.
- By 12 months – The child understands many of the words and terms you use in your day-to-day communication. They’ll follow when you point at things, recognize their name, and respond when asked simple questions with a head movement. You can expect to have short story sessions and play simple games with actions. At this point, kids learn to convey their thoughts and needs with gestures and may start experimenting with sounds.
Children Learn Two-Word Sentences by 24 Months.
At 24 months, many children communicate with two-word sentences. They learn to speak and understand short sentences and identify objects, such as images in books, toys, and body parts. Picking up new words, including syllables like, m, p, b , and h is a normal part of their abilities. If the child does not show this progress, you’ll know that there could be some extra obstacle to address with speech therapy.
Children Learn to Speak in Longer Sentences by 36 Months.
In addition to three-word sentences, your child learns new words all the time. They’ll remember people and objects not present in the room and understand how to use prepositions. Learning new syllables and speaking words that family members comprehend is typical of this age. Kids listen carefully to new concepts and try to mimic them.
Aside from speech delays, kids display various other signs that they need help. For instance, missing syllables at the end of the words like si cha instead of sit chair or repeating them saying b-b-b-ball. The SLP working with your child can identify the areas where they need help and guide you on how to help them.
Speech delays are not a problematic issue and with the right therapy, you and your child can feel more confident and less frustrated.