The ability to communicate clearly is essential for normal growth and development during childhood. When your child can tell you what they need, life becomes much easier! And, by the time they enter school, clear speech helps them learn important skills.
At PediPlex, with locations in Frisco, Fort Worth, and Southlake, Texas, our skilled providers are aware of the importance of clear communication, and have deep expertise in helping children from infancy to the age of 18 sharpen their speech, language, and communication skills. If you have questions about whether or not your child could benefit from speech therapy, we can answer them.
Speech and language are not the same. Speech is about verbally expressing language, and language is how information is gathered and given. Speech includes how words sound; language can include speech, as well as nonverbal and written communication.
Children who have a language delay may not have a speech problem. They may be able to pronounce words clearly, but unable to understand how they go together to convey information. A child with a speech delay, however, usually understands how words fit together to convey information, but struggles to speak clearly. Speech and language therapy focuses on both how to articulate words and how to use them to communicate clearly.
A milestones chart shows guidelines with broad ranges for certain speech and language skills. Either your pediatrician or your therapist here at PediaPlex can give you a milestones chart.
It’s important to remember that the guidelines on a milestones chart are for big ranges. Children generally develop skills in the same order, but the age they develop those skills varies significantly, sometimes by several months.
Some signals that your child may have a speech or language delay include:
Most of the time, you and others who regularly care for your child should understand roughly half of what your child says by the time they are two years old, and about 75% by the time they are three years old. By the time your child is about four years old, even strangers should be able to understand most of what they say.
If you’re worried, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with us. We can evaluate your child, in a fun way, so that you know whether or not there’s reason to be concerned.
During a speech and language evaluation, we will look for evidence that your child:
Sometimes a speech delay is related to a problem such as oral-motor development. They may have problems coordinating how their lips, tongue, and jaw move together. We may ask about whether or not your child has a history of choking or gagging, or other issues eating, particularly when they started eating solid foods.
Following the evaluation, we discuss our findings with you. If we suspect there are problems, we may recommend a program to help, and we may suggest things you can do at home.
If you have reason to be concerned about your child’s speech and language development, schedule an appointment at PediaPlex. Our experts are happy to answer your questions and provide an evaluation. Call today or book online.