It’s May! Which just happens to be Better Hearing and Speech Month. To help spread the word, Amy Graham from Graham Speech Therapy is addressing some of the most common questions she receives from parents.
1. What sounds should my child be able to say?
Since the 1930s, Speech Language Pathologists have been continually researching what sounds children are typically able to produce at a given age. Here’s is a guideline for when your child should be able to say certain sounds:
2. I can't really tell what sounds my child is able to say... it seems so inconsistent.
It’s true, some children might be able to say certain sounds in some words and not others. For example, maybe he can say the “s” sound in the word “sun” but not in the word “spider”. In this case, an easier way to tell if your child is “on target” is by considering his or her intelligibility.
This refers to how well he or she is understood by strangers. No matter what errors they make in their speech, people unfamiliar with their speech should be able to understand them a certain percentage of the time.
3. My 4-year-old is stuttering… can a speech therapist help?
Yes! Speech Language Pathologists can diagnose and treat a variety of speech and language disorders.
My practice happens to specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric speech sound disorders, including articulation, phonological disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, and other motor speech deficits. But, there are many aspects of speech and language we are qualified to assess and treat…
4. My 2-year-old isn't really talking much, but he's a boy... don't boys tend to talk later?
Yes, it’s true that there is a wide range of “normal” and every child develops at their own pace in their own way…. and girls do tend to develop speech and language faster than boys. But, there are still some important milestones every child should reach by a particular age. Here are some key expectations for younger children….
These are only just a few expected milestones… for a more exhaustive list click here.
If your child isn’t reaching these significant milestones, he may have a deficit in speech or language and I would encourage you to seek advice from a Speech Language Pathologist. Don’t let the “my-son-didn’t-talk-till-he-was-3-and-now-he’s-fine!” stories keep you from ignoring critical red flags. A parent once told me, “I wish I had started speech therapy from the jump and found out she didn’t need it, than waste nearly half a year waiting to see if she would catch up.”
5. I think my child has an issue with her speech… now what???
Your first step is to seek an evaluation by a Speech Language Pathologist certified by the American Speech Language Hearing Association. ASHA is the national governing body for Speech Language Pathologists.
Second, know your options…
- For children birth to 3 years of age, each state provides free or low cost Early Intervention services. Here in El Paso County,The Resource Exchange provides support and services to children birth through 3 years of age, who have special needs. Click here for more information.
- Once a child turns 3, they may be eligible for services through your local school district. If they qualify, speech services are often provided in a small group setting through a public preschool program. Contact your local district for more information.
**Keep in mind that these public services must conform to federal regulations created to implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is a law designed to ensure that all students receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). They are bound by different and stricter guidelines than private practitioners.
- At any age, you may choose to seek an evaluation from a private Speech Language Pathologist. Sometimes insurance may cover speech therapy services, in which case your pediatrician may refer you to a local private practice… or you can simply call a private speech therapy practice near you.
Amy at Graham Speech Therapy offers free phone consultations to discuss your concerns and is always happy to explain what her practice has to offer.
Have more questions?… call Amy today! Or follow Graham Speech Therapy on Facebook for more helpful posts.
ABOUT GRAHAM SPEECH THERAPY
Amy Graham is a Speech Language Pathologist and owner of Graham Speech Therapy, a private boutique-style speech and language private practice serving Colorado Springs, Monument, and the Tri-Lakes area.
With over 18 years in the field, Amy specializes in the evaluation and treatment of pediatric speech sound disorders, motor speech disorders, language delays, tongue thrust, stuttering, and more. www.GrahamSpeechTherapy.com