When should a child start speech therapy?

eastsideFAQs

This is an excellent question, and one that many parents ask when they contact our clinic about their child’s speech and language.

The great thing is that speech and language development in children is highly researched, and we have clear guidelines about the developmental milestones that they should be reaching by particular ages.

Here is a link which gives a guide as to what to expect at particular ages: What are the developmental milestones for a toddler?

It is important not to “wait and see” because children with speech and language delays generally require extra help from a speech pathologist. It’s important to know that speech therapy is fun, and we always provide guidance for parents and practice activities for home to help your child progress as quickly as possible. Delaying starting speech therapy may result in your child becoming even further behind. What started as a speech and language delay, can then become a speech and language disorder.

Three good “rules of thumb” in regards to speech are:

  • Most unfamiliar listeners should be able to understand your child if they are 3 years old
  • Children should be able to say all their speech sounds correctly before starting school (apart from “th”)
  • Stuttering is never normal and should be assessed as soon as it is recognised. Therapy should start at least a year before school.

Not being understood as a pre-schooler can negatively impact their social development. Speech sound difficulties when starting school can result in children struggling to read and write. Early intervention is important.

Eastside Speech’s Speech Therapy for Toddlers & Preschoolers are done through private one on one sessions. Get in touch with one of our Speech Pathologists today on 02 9313 8980.