When does a child need speech therapy?

Your child is unable to speak fluently and is slow in language progresses. Should you be worried or get help from an expert? The communication problem in children could be a sign or language disorder that you might be aware of and receive help from speech therapy to start treatment as early as possible.

In this article, you know when to worry about the signs of language disorders of your child and when to get help from a speech therapist.


What is speech therapy?

Speech therapy is the evaluation of communication problems and speech disorders and treating them. The speech-language pathologists (SLPs) performs the treatment process, which often gets called speech therapists (PT). The techniques and practices they use are to improve communication in patients.

Children who suffer from speech disorders that develop in childhood and adults who have speech impairments caused by illness or injury like brain injury or stroke need speech therapy.


How to know If your child needs speech therapy?

The following signs and symptoms can say your child needs speech therapy:


No babbling at age 4-7 months

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association indicates that a child who is not quiet when hearing sounds and doesn’t babble might show signs of a language disorder.

Is your child able to interact with others in the first three months of his/her age? At this age, the child must be able to smile and make eye contact with people around.


No body-gestures

The child must make movements such as waving hands, nodding, and pointing to objects at the age of 7-12 months. If he/she doesn’t, it could be a sign of language disorder. Remember that the child must be able to play with others at this age as well.


Problem with language understanding

The child aged 12-24 months must be able to comprehend given simple instructions and react to them. If the child doesn’t understand what you tell him/her and doesn’t react, it might be a sign of language disorder.

The child grunts and points rather than say what they want. Other sources indicate that the child is able to start learning a few simple words at this stage.

By the age of 2, raspy or nasally sound in a child is another sign that something is wrong with the language.

Between 2-4 years old, the child says fewer than 50 words.


Unable to speak in sentences

Your child must have learned to make sentences in 1.5-2 years old. They know the fact that putting words together means something to others. He/she has started expanding vocabulary. Learning new words becomes regular so is putting words together.

The child is expected to mispronounce words until six years of age. However, you must be able to understand about 75% of what your child says without much difficulty.


Difficulty creating particular sounds

Your child could have trouble making some consonant sounds such as:

  • P
  • B
  • M
  • H
  • W

The child cannot make the above sound in words from 1-2 years old. He/she could have difficulty creating the following sounds in words from 2-3 years old:

  • K
  • G
  • F
  • T
  • D
  • N

The ASHA reports that the child’s speaking might not be very clear and difficult to understand when they are 2-3 years old.

Remember that 2-4 years is the period that becomes clear your child needs speech therapy or not. The main sign could be their limited list of vocabulary and difficulty putting words together.

Lack of appropriate interaction is another sign of speech disorder:

  • Not answering questions
  • Not pointing to pictures.
  • The frequent usage of wrong words
  • Unable to understand instructions
  • Mispronunciation still being normal
  • Rare to non use of consanats


The point to remember is that your child might be developing at a slow pace. But you need to be aware of not making any progress with being slow. The timing is important in the treatment of language disorder when being speech therapy.


My child suffered from ear infections in the past. Could it have an impact on their speech development?

It is possible. There is no proven relationship between having an ear infection and speech and language delay. However, children who experience this medical condition are likely to be more at risk of having communicative problems and should be constantly examined.


When should I be worried about the communicative development of my child?

This is determined by what you notice in your house. A young kid (9 months) who does not respond to noises, responds to their name, shows an understanding of simple words, or points to draw attention to fascinating items may be displaying early indicators of a hearing loss or language problem. Other common guidelines include the following:

  • 12-15 months: First words
  • 21-24 months: The most common two-word sentences are heard.
  • 36 months: Three-word combinations are commonly heard.
  • By the age of 4: Children can speak intelligibly 90% of the time.
  • By kindergarten age: Most children can produce grammatically full phrases.


How long will my child take to catch up with their peers after starting speech therapy?

This is determined by various criteria, including the severity of the disease, the child’s participation, motivation, and desire to learn. Another important component is family engagement in adopting the home practice. Generally speaking, children with receptive language issues (difficulty processing language) and those with underlying neurocognitive abnormalities such as autism require longer therapy cycles.


What is the age for children to begin speech therapy?

Speech therapy has no set age since it works on many distinct skills: speech, language, social, and organization. There is a developmental hierarchy in sound acquisition. When a speech therapist evaluates a kid, we use age-related milestones. Pa and ba are examples of early development sounds. Some noises arise later, such as the R sound. Early intervention is critical, but the actual age for early intervention varies depending on the sound or skill being corrected. Early intervention may begin as early as a few months of life if your baby is not babbling, smiling, or making eye contact. The time for intervention is later for a lisp, difficulty with the R sound, and stuttering. It is extremely dependent on your child’s drive, desire to change, ability to follow directions and distinguish between differences, and coordination and motor control.


How does speech therapy work?

Speech therapists help children with language abilities, either understanding or speaking. The therapist can help to treat the:

  • Oral motor concerns (chewing and swallowing)
  • Articulation
  • Auditory processing
  • Social skills

The first stage of the treating process is to evaluate the child’s conditions. Then the length and process of treatment get arranged. Finally, the SLP clarifies techniques and training to treat the disorder.

The sessions could be 30-45 minutes depending on the SLP decision and the child’s needs. There will be as many sessions until the child gets better with his/her condition and achieving goals.


What disorders can a speech-language pathologist treat?

Speech therapy can help a child with the following disorder:

  • Vocal Nodules
  • Voice Disorders
  • Tongue Thrust
  • Swallowing Disorders
  • Selective Mutism
  • Reading/Writing Difficulties
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Feeding Disorders
  • Expressive and Receptive Language Disorders
  • Early Language Delays
  • Dyslexia
  • Executive Functioning (Attention, Organization)
  • Developmental Delays
  • Cleft Palate
  • Articulation Disorders
  • Autism
  • Apraxia

The child with the above symptoms could receive help from a speech therapist.


How long do children need speech therapy?

The duration your child needs speech therapy is up to the following factors:

  • Age
  • Frequency of therapy sessions
  • The other medical conditions the child suffers from
  • Treatment of health conditions
  • Type of health condition the child has

If the child gets better during the sessions, the therapist could reduce the total number of sessions or the frequency. However, the child might need more treatment sessions as well.


Is speech therapy effective?

The type of disorder and development varies from child to child. So the rate of success is different for each one and is up to the kid’s conditions. It could take some time, so the results get achieved, or it can show immediate results. Again, it’s up to the child. However, it’s been shown that speech therapy was successful when it started early.

The data indicates that practicing at home with parents’ involvement is more successful. Better communication means better self-confidence and higher quality of life.

As explained above, the length of speech therapy and sessions is up to the child’s conditions and other factors. For instance, If parents are involved or not. Parents are the best ones who know what encourages or motivates the kid to take the training seriously. Speech therapy is an ongoing process and needs long-term work.

However, it’s difficult to determine the complete effectiveness of speech therapy.


Speech therapy in Las Vegas

Your child might need speech therapy, and you are not aware of it. Not being able to make sounds, difficulty understanding others, lack of body gestures are a few symptoms.

The article explained that the signs of speech disorders are various in different ages. You know what signs to look for now and what can a speech therapist do for your child.

If you’re looking for a speech therapist in Las Vegas, Health and Care Professional Network provides the best services in the area. We have provided in-home speech therapy services to our clients since 2006. As explained, the sessions are more effective when parents are involved and the environment is familiar.

Contact us at (702) 871-9917 to get speech therapy services in your place of residence now.

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