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Does My Child Need Speech & Language Therapy?

Pediatric speech and language therapy is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on addressing communication and speech-related challenges in children. It encompasses various aspects, including speech sound production, language development, fluency, voice, and social communication skills. Not all children develop speech and language skills at the same pace, but there are certain signs that may indicate your child could benefit from speech and language therapy. If you observe any of the following, consider consulting with a speech-language therapist:

Speech Sound Delays

Difficulty pronouncing certain sounds appropriate for their age.

Language Development Issues

Limited vocabulary, difficulty forming sentences, or challenges understanding and using language.

Stuttering of Fluency Concerns

Frequent disruptions in the flow of speech, such as stuttering.

Voice Disorders

Persistent hoarseness or other voice-related challenges.

Social Communication Challenges

Difficulty with non-verbal communication, understanding social cues, or making friends.

Difficulty Following Directions

Struggles to understand and follow simple or complex instructions.

Late Developmental Milestones

Delays in reaching language and communication milestones.

Developmental Milestones

Speech Sound Development

  • 18 months: Uses a variety of sounds and begins to imitate words.
  • 3 years: Should be mostly understood by family members.
  • 5 years: Speech should be mostly clear and intelligible.

Language Development

  • 12 months: Uses a few words and understands simple commands.
  • 2 years: Begins combining words and using basic sentences.
  • 4 years: Able to hold a conversation, ask questions, and use complex sentences.
  • 6 years: Refines language skills, understands and uses more advanced vocabulary.

Fluency & Stuttering

  • 2 to 5 years: Some disfluency (normal hesitations) is common.
  • 6 years and older: Stuttering that persists may require intervention.

Social Communication

  • 18 months to 2 years: Begins to engage in simple pretend play.
  • 3 years: Shows interest in playing with other children.
  • 5 years: Develops more complex friendships, understands and follows social rules.