Determining whether your child needs a speech evaluation

Throughout the first year of their lives, children accomplish a lot. Throughout the first six months, kids should begin to chatter, and by their first birthday, they should utter their first word. It is only normal for parents to be concerned if their child doesn’t speak 20 words by the time they are 18 months old. Thus, the evaluation of speech is crucial because it helps us decide if treatment is necessary. Speech evaluation is the process of evaluating your child’s communication abilities, including their capacity to speak clearly and successfully in varying circumstances. It is important to note that every child develops at their own pace, and there is a wide range of what is considered typical development. However, If you suspect your child has a speech-language disorder, listed below are some signs that may indicate that a child could have a speech disorder.

Signs that your child needs speech evaluation

  • Check your child’s verbal development – Children should be able to pronounce the consonants “t,” “d,” “n,” and a few others by the age of three. Most speech sounds should be pronounceable by the age of five in youngsters.
  • Late development: If your child is not hitting speech and language milestones at the same rate as other children their age, this may be a sign that they need a speech evaluation.
  • If your child’s voice is inconsistent – Perhaps you’ve observed that your child’s voice sounds harsh or excessively raspy or if they’re having difficulties in volume control.
  • If your child doesn’t point out a gesture, your youngster should be waving and pointing by the time they turn one. Some kids gesture more frequently than others. But, you should initially consult your kid’s pediatrician if they make no gestures.
  • If your child doesn’t talk in school – If a kid has selective mutism, parents frequently hear comments from teachers and other caretakers about their children not communicating. Children with this severe anxiety problem are unable to talk in public.

A speech and language evaluation’s primary goal is to establish if a child needs speech therapy and, if so, what sort and how frequently. A speech-language pathologist, also referred to as a speech therapist, conducts the evaluation. Both in-person and online video platforms are available for the examination.

Speech evaluation can be done in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, and healthcare centers. It is frequently used to assist children in developing their communication skills and overcoming speech issues in educational and clinical environments. A trained speech-language pathologist may incorporate a variety of tests and assessments during a speech evaluation to identify the child’s communication strengths and weaknesses. Also, by observing the child in unstructured & natural situations, the practitioner may offer feedback on ways to sharpen their communication skills. When it comes to identifying and treating speech abnormalities, parents, teachers, physicians, speech and language pathologists, and other concerned parties each have specific roles to play. Children with speech impairments may overcome their obstacles and improve their communication abilities with the help of professional therapy, family involvement, encouraging words, and a strong support system, along with effective treatments. If ignored, speech impairments can lead to a range of issues as adults and may be more challenging to identify and cure. If you are concerned about your child’s speech development, it is important to talk to your pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist. These professionals can help identify any potential issues and provide guidance on how to support your child’s language development. It’s also important to make sure that the speech therapist you choose is licensed and experienced. This can help ensure that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective therapy and support for your child’s communication needs. And of course, finding a therapist who connects well with your child can help make therapy sessions more enjoyable and effective. Ultimately, the decision of which speech therapist to choose should be based on careful consideration of your child’s unique needs and your family’s preferences. With some research and thoughtful consideration, you can find a speech therapist who can help your child develop their communication skills and reach their full potential.

Credit: Wee Talkers , SIU Medicine


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