Five signs that your child needs speech therapy right now
Every parent wants the best for their child, and it is normal to worry if you notice something amiss with their development. Here are five that your child may need speech therapy.
Communication and speech disorders are common in young children. But they often go undetected due to a lack of awareness in parents, and most moms and dads fail to notice subtle signs and get timely help.
Speech disorders can hamper academic growth and affect a child’s confidence levels as they grow up. Thankfully, the condition can be resolved with the right treatment and timely intervention by a speech pathologist. These professionals are experts in communication and specific issues related to speech and expression in young children.
As a parent, you need to be aware of these issues because addressing the problem early with professional therapy can make things easier to handle in the long run.
So, to help you recognise them and get any help your child may need, here are five signs indicating that your child needs speech therapy.
1) They don’t babble as a baby
Parents can detect speech issues in children at a very young age if they are watchful enough. A baby should ideally start experimenting with sounds through babbling when they are around six months old.
If you notice that your baby is strangely quiet, you should see a therapist at the earliest. Don’t wait until they are old enough to start speaking, because the problem will only aggravate with time. The earlier you get help, the earlier you can help them.
2) They can’t speak in sentences
Typically, children can join words and speak small sentences as they reach the age of two years. If you notice that your toddler isn’t talking at all, then consult an expert.
Look for a professional who has completed one of the online speech pathology programs with a specialty in pediatrics. These professionals have the right skills and experience to diagnose and treat young patients, so you can trust them for handling your child’s case.
3) There are inconsistencies in their speech
At times, your child may speak something correctly, but you notice that they have trouble with the same words or sentences later.
Inconsistency in voice quality and volume also needs attention. It is easy to overlook such inconsistencies, but they are an indication that your child needs help.
Keep track of any issues and address them at the earliest opportunity by visiting a therapist, even if you think the problem is minor. It’s far better to find out it’s nothing to worry about than leave a problem undetected and untreated.
4) They stutter
The most obvious sign that your child needs speech therapy straight away is stuttering. While parents often see it as a problem that will go away with age, stuttering often gets harder to deal with as a child grows older.
Not only does stuttering cause a lack of clarity, but your child can also lose confidence and may even avoid speaking altogether eventually. Timely help can resolve the issue for good.
5) They have trouble with certain sounds
Some children have clear speech normally, but have trouble with certain sounds. You may notice that your child is unable to say specific words or that they lack clarity with them.
The problem may be due to a structural issue or a speech problem, and a therapist is the best person to diagnose it. Pay attention to their problem words so that you can discuss them with the professional.
Thankfully, pediatric speech therapists can treat children of all ages and with different disorders, but everything relies on early detection and treatment. So as a parent, you need to be conscious about picking up the red flags and getting help as soon as possible.