You might be asking yourself, how will I know if my child is in need of speech-language therapy? The following list consists of, but is not limited to, key behavioral and speech patterns in infants and children which may indicate consideration of treatment:
• Does not babble or attempt to talk by one year of age
• Frequent ear infections*
• Absent pointing by one year
• Lack of imitation skills
• Limited sound repertoire
• Messy eater
• Picky eater
• Speech is difficult for strangers to understand
• Decreased or lack of appropriate play skills
• Loss of skills previously mastered
• Repetitive behaviors
• Avoiding messy play
• Dislike of tooth brushing
• Gagging on certain food textures
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a guideline to help you gauge whether or not seeking treatment is an appropriate option. Each case is unique, and you may find that you fit all the criteria, or barely any! Our therapists will be able to assess your child (or yourself) to see for certain if speech or feeding therapy is needed.
*Frequent ear infections in particular are something to keep a close eye on in young children. When a child has frequent ear infections as an infant or toddler, it affects how they hear certain sounds, and then when they begin to talk they will repeat those muffled sounds instead of having clear speech. Keep this in mind if ear infections are a common occurrence for little ones.
This is also a great guide to see if your child would benefit from sensory integration therapy.