It can be quite worrying when a child does not reach a milestone on time and it can be a cause of stress for parents. Although children have a different rate of growing, it can be quite worrying if the child does not start speaking when the other children do, it does ring an alarm bell.
You need to take a step and ensure that the right action is taken to aid your child in speaking. It is for this reason that speech therapy is appropriate and helps a child in speaking. While for some children, it can be extremely helpful, for many other children, it can only be a matter of time when they start speaking. But in either case it is important for parents to know when the right time is to provide speech therapy for children and whether it is right for the child at all.
Here are some tips that will help you know whether it is right or not.
What is Normal
Experts suggest that these milestones are normal for toddlers and babies.
Under the age of one, it is quite normal for babies to start interacting verbally with their surroundings by making baby sounds. It is important to know that these sounds are the precursors to speech for a child. When the child is around 12 to 15 months of age, babies start to impersonate the sounds of their mother tongue and start to say simple single words. They can also follow simple, single-step directions.
When the babies are between 18 months to two years, their vocabulary increases, and they begin to mouth two words together and start saying simple words or even two words. In this phase they begin to listen and start saying two or three words that are quite cute to hear.
When the child is between 2 and 3 years, their speech generally is quite clear, or begins to get quite clear. Their vocabulary increases and their comprehension also takes off. For instance, if a child is 3 years old and is still putting two words together, you might want to take the help of speech therapy as it can be alarming. By now the child should have started speaking complete sentences and say more than two or three words.
A Mix of Factors
Experts also suggest that delay in speech alone is not a cause of worry, but delay in speech accompanied by various other issues can be a cause of worry and might even be serious.
For instance, if a child is constantly behind speech and also shows other unusual behavior, it can mean that it may require therapy. If you spot unusual behavior, you might want to consult a doctor. These unusual behaviors are:
There is a serious deficit of nonverbal communication, like if the child does not make an eye contact, smile, babbles, and also does not engage socially, it can be concerning and you might want to consult a doctor to know the causes and the therapy required.
When there is an inability in the child to follow certain instructions or directions and also when the child cannot hear these instructions, you should be alarmed.
When you notice that the child has a poor retention capacity and especially when that is short-term. When you observe that the child can be seen extremely frustrated while speaking, it can be a cause of concern.
Consulting a pediatrician will be a good place to start when you see that your child has speech problems. He or she can be quite open about suggesting speech therapy when required and if necessary will also recommend a speech therapist.