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  • Writer's pictureDiane Trasatti

Does My Child Need Speech Therapy?

If you are unsure about what speech therapy is or if your child may need speech therapy...

...this post is for you. We will answer these questions:

  • What is speech therapy?

  • What is a Speech Language Pathologist?

  • When should I seek speech therapy services for my child?

What is Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy is the term used to describe speech and language therapy services. Children receive speech therapy when they need support in learning how to talk, understand language, and communicate. In speech therapy, a child’s speech and language skills are evaluated by a speech language pathologist (often referred to as a speech therapist) and if speech therapy is needed, a plan is developed and incorporates the specific strategies, tools, and techniques that will support your child in improving their communication. When a child’s speech is delayed, is difficult to understand or directions have to be repeated to them multiple times, this can indicate that a child would benefit from speech therapy.

What is a Speech Language Pathologist?

A Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is certified to evaluate a child’s speech and language skills and provide treatment services (AKA speech therapy). An SLP has earned a master’s degree, must maintain state licensure requirements, and continue learning new strategies, techniques, and advancements on an on-going basis. Many SLPs are also members of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) which issues each member a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) for meeting certain criteria. SLPs may work with children and/or adults and can specialize in:

  • Speech sound development

  • Language skills

  • Voice

  • Speech fluency (stuttering)

  • AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication)

  • Bilingual/multilingual language development and considerations

  • Literacy

  • Feeding/swallowing

When Should I Seek Speech Therapy Services For My Child?

Developmental milestones are a guideline to gauge general speech and language skills. For example, children generally say their first words by age one and combine words into various two-word phrases by age two. However, some children may process and develop language using the intonation of what they hear (refer to: Is my Child a Gestalt Language Processor?) and so their development may look different.

Consider these questions:

  • How is my child’s speech as compared with same-age peers (e.g., cousins, friends, siblings at that age)

If your child is talking, understanding, or communicating less than same-age cousins, friends, playmates, or siblings when they were that age, this could be an indication that they would benefit from speech therapy. 

  • Is my child meeting (or when did they meet) their developmental milestones?

While it is true that children develop at their own pace, if a child is not yet reaching speech and language milestones or reached them later than expected, this could be an indication that they would benefit from speech therapy.

  • Does my child get frustrated often?

When a child is having difficulty communicating their wants, needs, thoughts, or emotions, they can sometimes show frustration or become upset when they do not have a way to express themselves. This can be crying, throwing or banging objects, or meltdowns.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s speech and/or language development, please reach out by filling out a contact form or booking an initial free consultation today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

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