When Should Speech Therapy Begin?

 Your child's first words are a momentous occasion. Learning to speak is one of many milestones that parents take great pride in documenting. Children develop at different rates which means some may say their first words much later than others. In most cases, a child missing one or two milestones isn't a big deal. Children start to say simple words when they are ready to do so. The main question is, how do you know when to start being concerned. Speech therapy for toddlers may be a good way to get them started on the right track.

Knowing What Is Normal

Before you become overly concerned, it's a good idea to learn what is considered to be normal in terms of speech milestones. Up until their first birthday, most children use a variety of sounds and gestures to communicate. Around their first birthday (normally 12 to 15 months), babies will begin to start forming simple words. Single-step instructions are easy for them to understand. A few months prior to their second birthday, babies can be expected to link two or more words together. While this is a slow process, once your child begins to put words into groups their vocabulary will begin to expand. By the age of three, sentences containing three or more words are common. While these milestones are subjective, they are a good starting point if you are trying to determine if your child may need toddler speech delay exercises to help them catch up with their peers.

Various Factors to Consider

Not every child will reach verbal milestones. This normally isn't a major issue unless other factors come into play. If milestones are being missed and there are other signs that communication is lacking, you may want to contact a pediatric speech therapist to have your child evaluated. The following factors can indicate that a trip to a therapist is necessary:

  • Insufficient short term memory
  • Doesn't follow simple directions
  • Inability to hear or understand directions
  • Visible frustration when trying to communicate
  • Limited nonverbal forms of communication
  • Poor social interaction

Additionally, two common signs that can be indicative of some type of issue include your child struggling with their ability to make eye contact or smile. If your child does not try to verbalize through cooing or babbling, there may be a problem with their speech development

What Age Does Speech Therapy Start?

When a significant number of milestones are missed, you may begin to ask yourself, “What age can speech therapy start?” Talking to your pediatrician should be your first step. They will help you understand what may be happening with your child developmentally and can offer you insight as to what your next steps should be. You may want to get a second opinion if you don't feel that your questions were answered sufficiently.

  • Understand the milestones associated with speech and pediatric development
  • Know what signs to look for in terms of abnormal behavior
  • Take into consideration your child's development in other areas
  • Talk to your pediatrician and ask about speech therapy options

Residents who live in the Hudson or Essex County, New Jersey that are interested in learning more about speech therapy for toddlers and Applied Behavioral Analysis, are encouraged to call the pediatric therapists at Infinite Therapy Solutions. They have the knowledge and experience to evaluate your child and put together a treatment plan that will help them to reach future milestones. Their knowledgeable staff offers a variety of therapies that can be used to help your child overcome even the most daunting obstacle. Call and schedule your child's evaluation today!!