Many times I have spoken to parents who have expressed concern about the development of a child’s speech and language. Some parents became aware of a difference in the way the child communicated because they compared the child to siblings. Other times, the mother noticed that children of similar age said more words during interactions. Primarily, the parent simply had a feeling that something was wrong. Typically when a parent thinks something is wrong, mom or dad is absolutely correct. Regardless of how a parent comes to the notion that there is a speech and language delay, the most important thing is to take the next step.
It is not easy to confront that a child is experiencing difficulty in any area. Parents who pursue the questions and the answers experience are rewarded for the emotional strength. Research has shown that speech therapy, if needed, creates opportunities for parents to learn about speech development. Communication strategies that parents and children learn to use, often lessen stress. It may also improve what parents think about a child’s speech and language abilities and future. Hope is always good.
There are resources for parents to think about when considering help for a suspected speech problem. Going right to professionals is certainly a sure way to get answers quickly. Based on the age of the child, resources vary. Children under three benefit from contact with Early Intervention. Children over three can get help through the Child Study Team at your local school district. Also, seek the help of a local speech pathologist at a hospital or private practice.
Tiptop Speech will continue to explore more on this and other topics. Please like us on Facebook and stay connected!
Ayana Webb, M.A., CCC-SLP
Senior Speech Pathologist at Tiptop Speech