3 Signs Your Toddler Might Need Speech Therapy

Health & Medical Blog

No parent wants to see their child struggle, especially when it comes to an important skill like speaking. However, if you child suffers from a speech delay or a speech impediment, one of the most important things you can do to help is get them in speech therapy as soon as it's evident there may be an issue.

If you have concerns, contact your child's pediatrician. They can refer you to a speech therapist who can do an extensive evaluation. Here are a few signs that your toddler might need speech therapy.

1. Your Child Has Trouble Mimicking Sounds That You Make

Every child is different, but sometime between the first and second year of age, your child should develop the ability to mimic basic sounds that you make. This includes items like letters in the alphabet and beginning or ending word sounds. After the second year of age, your child should be producing words on their own, without being prompted to mimic the word or its sounds.

One thing that you can do to help your child learn how to mimic sounds is to have them watch your mouth when talk. Learning how to make the movements associated with certain sounds can be beneficial for some children.

2. Your Child Prefers to Use Non-Verbal Forms of Communication

If your child prefers to use gestures (like pointing or leading their caregiver to the item they want) to communicate their needs instead of trying to use verbal communication, this can be indicative of a speech issue. Some children use gestures because they don't know how to form the words that convey their needs, while others use gestures because they're more effective at getting the child what they want.

It's easy for a parent to be a little too responsive to their child's needs. The parent can anticipate what the child wants or quickly figure it out from the child's gestures. so the child doesn't need to use their words. Trying waiting a minute or two before your getting your child what they want so encourage them to use to use verbal communication.

3. Your Child Doesn't Appear to Understand Simple Commands

Once your child is around two years of age, they should be able to follow a simple command, like take this toy to your room. If your child doesn't understand commands or acts as if they don't hear them, this is cause for a speech evaluation. There may be an underlying issue, such as an auditory impediment, that is interfering with your child's ability to develop, understand, and use age-appropriate speech.


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