Many Parents make the assumption that there child will grow out of speech or language delay either from advice given by professionals that do not specialise in communication or family members in an attempt to reduce stress around the situation .
While this can be helpful for the parent at the time, in the long run it can be detrimental for the child who may continue to fall further and further behind as intervention is not provided when it is required. This leads to difficulties when the child begins school not just in their academic development but also their ability to social interacts with peers and general wellbeing.
While sometimes speech pathologists may tell you to give your child a bit more time for communication development, it is important to know when to take action.
Here are some warning signs of speech and or language problems that require treatment:
If your baby does not orient towards new sounds or does not laugh or squeal when interacting with others or his/her environment.
If your baby produces limited babbling sounds or does not babble at all. In addition, if your baby does not indicate that she/he is happy or upset through crying or giggling and smiling.
If your toddler does not point to objects or does not use gestures such as waving hello or does not protest ‘no’ or ‘yes’ by shaking his/her head.
If your child is yet to produce their first word consistently by this age. Also, if your child does not respond to ‘no’ or ‘bye’ especially if you are providing a gesture alongside these words every day.
One and a half years
If your child does not use at least 10 words consistently such as ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘ball’, ‘car’ etc. Another red flag at this age would be if your child is not able to discriminate between sounds.
If your child does not follow simple directions or use at least six consonant sounds within words such as ‘t’, ‘d’, ‘p’, ‘b’, ‘m’, ‘n’ or ‘w’.
If your child has a vocabulary of less than fifty words and does not show interest in social interactions with other children or adults.
Two and a half years
If unfamiliar people have difficulty understanding what your child is saying or if your child is not putting together basic sentences such as ‘run daddy’ or ‘truck go’.
Other areas of concern include children that stutter consistently for more than 6 months, excessive drooling, fussy eaters that only eat a hand full of food of certain textures and colours, difficulty with transition to new environment or tasks and repetitive behaviours. If you notice any of the above in your child then it is important to visit a speech pathologist for further advice.
Contact us for results focused speech therapy
This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you have speech pathology related questions, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective therapy targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.