How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?

How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?

Is my child’s speech developing as it should?

You may be concerned about your child’s speech development, and you may be wondering if your child’s speech is developing as it should. Many parents commonly rely on their pediatrician to tell them if their child’s speech development is “normal”. However, pediatricians are not trained as experts in the field of speech and language development. They are trained to provide medical services, and this is their focus.

Developmental Guidelines for Speech

As a speech language therapist, I refer to developmental guidelines for speech sound acquisition for different ages, or “speech sound acquisition norms”. These guidelines are based on studies with developed normative data indicating the age at which different sounds should be produced correctly.

While there is a range for the production of different sounds, there is a developmental sequence to when children master speech sound productions. So that easier to produce sounds such as /m/, /b/, /p/, /h/, /n/,/w/,/y/, /h/ are acquired first, with more difficult sounds to produce such as /r/, and /th/ being acquired later.

 General Guidelines by Age

Additionally, the ability to understand your child (intelligibility) should increase each year. Here are general guidelines:

2 years old-50%

3 years old – 75%

4 years old- close to 100%

If you have any concerns at all about your child’s speech development, I encourage you to schedule a speech screening, to determine if a speech evaluation is indicated. Your child may be misarticulating one sound, or many impacting his ability to speak clearly, and communicate effectively.

Call me at 303-856-8817 for a free phone consultation and to learn more.

Carol Ann Kennedy, M.S. CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

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