Does my child need speech or will they "grow out of it"?
Trust your parental gut and then talk to a professional. You’ll win either way. This is usually the answer I give a parent’s most burning question: “Does my child need speech therapy or will they just grow out of it?”. While the answer is unique to each child and their communication skills, I’ve made a guide to help point you in the right direction.
Knowing your child
As a parent, you are most likely with your child the most and therefore (we can assume) know them best. If you're concerned with their speech, language or play, I encourage you to trust your gut and find an SLP in your area. If you feel they are falling behind, it's best to reach out sooner rather than later. If they're on-track, you can rest easy. If they aren't, you'll be glad you reached out and found someone to help your child!
10 questions to guide you:
Is your child frustrated when trying to communicate?
Do they say something once and often don’t repeat it?
Do they follow directions consistently?
Do they communicate their wants and needs clearly?
Is their speech understood by familiar and unfamiliar people?
Do they have difficulties starting and maintaining conversations?
Do they play easily with other children?
Do they experience moments of stuttering after age 3?
Do they recall previously learned information?
Do they have difficulty imitating new words and phrases?
Why you should never "wait and see"
Speaking with other parents or family members, you may hear things like “I didn’t talk until I was 4,” or “You should just wait it out”. If your child is frustrated, or people are having a hard time understanding them, it’s time to look into therapy. We know as a profession that starting early leads to the best results for the child.
Milestones to check:
Getting more specific to your child, let’s start off with their age. Given their age, there are certain speech (i.e. sounds) and language (i.e. words, grammar) developmental milestones they should have met.
If you aren’t sure which milestones your child should be meeting, get our language milestone guide by clicking the button below!
The guide outlines all language milestones from 12 months – 7 years old. It covers everything they should be understanding and the language they should be using to communicate with you!
If you are concerned with your child’s speech, language, or play, I encourage you to find an SLP in your area to determine if speech is necessary. Use the above questions and the speech skill guide to determine what skills your child should have right now.
What surprised you most? What milestones are you looking forward to?