How Do I Know If My Child Needs Speech Therapy?

It’s hard to admit your child may have a problem, but it is better to come to terms with the admission rather than ignoring the issue. If your little one does have a speech development issue, the sooner you get help for them, the better. Do you know, though, how to recognize the signs of communication problems? There are certain ways you can determine if you need to make an appointment with a speech pathologist.

Kids Develop Differently

Keep in mind that kids do develop at different ages. Some children simply take longer to learn to walk or talk. However, almost any parent will recognize the difference between a child that is slow to develop and a child who actually has a developmental disorder.

Think about your child and your gut reaction. Do they seem to be having trouble expressing themselves, pronouncing words or forming sentences when other kids their age are miles ahead of them? Has anyone else pointed out that your child is struggling? Keep in mind that if other people have noticed, then this should confirm your own suspicions.

Others may tell you that your child is simply taking longer to develop, and that you just need to give them time. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you have any reason to think that your little one is having trouble with speech, then you should make an appointment with a speech pathologist now.

Speech Therapy

It Is Vital That You Make an Appointment Right Away

If a child does have a speech problem, you can’t wait to make an appointment with a speech language pathologist. When kids are very young, they are learning the most they will in their lives. Anything that gets ingrained now will be very hard to change in the future. By getting help from an expert when your child is young, you will have a better chance of eliminating any speech or communication problems they may have in the future.

Getting Screenings

Before anything can be determined, your child will need to go through a series of screening and evaluation processes. Some of them can be completed by your pediatrician, but other will require a licensed speech pathologist.

A hearing test is a good place to start. Sometimes, children seem to be having speech problems when the issue actually has to do with their hearing. If your child has hearing problems, this is what needs to be addressed first. Usually, this test can be performed by your pediatrician. If hearing is ruled out, then the next step would be to move on to a speech pathologist.

The pathologist will screen your child to determine the specific type of communication problem he or she is having. At this point, a type of treatment will be recommended. It is very important that you follow through with the treatment for the wellbeing of your little one. Studies show that children with untreated speech problems will continue to have communication disabilities into their adulthood, and these issues could have a direct impact on their education and even their future career.

When should you contact a speech pathologist? As a parent, you will have a feeling if something is wrong. Even if others are telling you your child is fine, just slower to develop, it is best to go with your own instincts. If you have any reason to think your child is having trouble with communication and speech, make the appointment. Remember that getting speech issues addressed by a licensed speech pathologist early will help your kid out in the long run for a better future.

Dr. Michael Barakate is a pediatric and adult otolaryngologist located in Sydney, Australia offering health and wellness information at