Parents are really good judges about what their child knows and what they can or cannot do. They are usually the primary person in the child’s life who can understand what he/she is trying to say. Often, parents either consciously or unconsciously compare their child to siblings or other children of the same age. This can sometimes lead parents to become aware that there’s a problem.
If parents are concerned about their child’s speech and language development, they often seek advice from friends or family members. In response, they will likely hear comments such as “Oh, he/she is just a ‘late-talker’ like I was, and I turned out fine”; or “He/She will grow out of it”. Parents may also ask their child’s pediatrician, who may say “Let’s wait and see”. While this may be an option for some children, it is not true for all children. We must look at each child individually. There are specific speech and language milestones that children achieve in a sequential order, but not all children reach those milestones at the same time. So, how do you know if there’s a problem?
The key thing you need to look for is if the child is showing growth and progress, with new skills emerging regularly. If you are not seeing this steady growth or regular changes occurring, (or if you are not sure), then it is time to seek out a professional’s help – and that professional is a Speech-Language Pathologist (also referred to as a “Speech Therapist”).
Most parents have good “gut instincts”. So, if your instincts are telling you something’s not quite right, trust those instincts and seek out help. There is never any harm in having an evaluation done, because the evaluation will be able to give you the answers you are looking for. Furthermore, there is no “right” or “wrong” time or age to do an evaluation.
If you have concerns about your child’s speech and language skills, please contact us to set up an appointment.