It’s hard to tell if there’s something wrong with your child’s speech and language development or not. But trust your instincts and make that telephone call if you’re at all worried.
Speech and language development varies greatly between children in their early years. While some begin to string words together at 18 months, others have only mastered a few by then; by their third birthday, some are prattling away all the time, starting to include a complex variety of tenses and vocabulary, while others occasionally stutter or struggle to master sentence structure.
Address speech and language problems
With so much variation, it can be hard for parents to know whether their child’s speech and language development fall within the norm In this case you have to trust your instincts and talk to someone who knows about these things.
It is extremely important to tackle any problems early so preschool children have as much opportunity as possible to redress the problems before they enter school. So, if you are in any way worried about your child’s speech or language development, pick up the phone and arrange an assessment with a speech therapist.
Three different types of speech disorders
There are, broadly speaking, three different types of speech disorders to look out for: children who are late talkers, who don’t talk as much as is typical by certain ages; children who have problems with their language (either in form or use); and children whose main problem isn’t with language but with forming words and sounds.
Language and speech therapy
Language and speech therapy takes the form of play-based intervention. Age and stage-appropriate toys and games are used, typically in games such as Memory and Lotto, or picture cards and games employing cause-and-effect strategies. Language and speech therapy can last anywhere from a few months to two to three years, depending on what is needed.