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Warning Signs that May Mean Your Child Needs Speech Therapy

Your child hits many milestones just within their first two years, including milestones related to speech, hearing, and communication. By one year, they should be waving “bye,” pointing, and saying their first words. By age two, they should have a vocabulary of about 50 words and start putting them together in simple sentences.

But if your child isn’t hitting these targets, don’t panic. Your child may just be slow in developing their language skills and could benefit from working with a speech therapist.

At Celebrations Speech Group in Brentwood, California, we offer a welcoming and comfortable environment for children that can help them develop the essential communication skills they need to thrive and lead a fulfilling life. 

How a speech-language pathologist can help

These are the skills we can help your child develop:

Speech skills

Speech isn’t just “talking.” Speech involves:

All three aspects of speech must come together for effective verbal skills. 

Articulation deals with the way the lips, tongue, and mouth move to produce certain sounds. A child who struggles with articulation may have trouble with “r” or “th” sounds. 

Voice is the use of the breath and vocal folds to make sounds. Although your child doesn’t need to be loud, they should be able to speak at a consistently understandable volume. 

Fluency is the rhythm of speech. If your child struggles with fluency, they may stutter or stammer.

Language skills

The words we use and how we use them to share ideas and get what we want are all part of language skills. 

Language includes:

A child with a language disorder may have trouble with some of these skills. We teach language skills that help your child understand and implement:

What words mean

Some words have more than one meaning. For example, “bark” can be the sound a dog makes or the outside coating of a tree trunk.

How to make new words 

For example, we can say “friend,” “friendly,” or “unfriendly” and mean something different with the same root word.

How to combine words

In English, we say, “Carmen bought an ice cream cone” instead of “Carmen bought cone ice cream.”

What we say in different situations

We might be polite and say, “I don’t like it when you pinch me.” But, if the person doesn’t stop, we may say, “Stop pinching me!”

Having trouble understanding what other people say is a receptive language disorder. Having problems sharing our thoughts, ideas, and feelings is an expressive language disorder. 

When to see a speech therapist

Although every child develops speech and language skills at their own pace, if you notice that some of the following signs apply to your child, it may be time for speech therapy:

Number of words 

Your child uses fewer than 20 words at 18 months and fewer than 50 words by age 2.

Number of sounds

Your child only uses a few sounds to pronounce all words. This goes back to articulation.

Understanding 

Most children understand more than 300 words by age 2. If your child has trouble understanding simple sentences, such as “Pick up your toys,” it may be time to see a speech therapist.

Social situations

Your child talks infrequently and has trouble using language socially.

Immature or unclear speech

Your 2-year-old should be able to combine different words and talk at an acceptable volume.

If you're concerned about any of these issues, bring your child in for an assessment at Celebrations Speech Group in Brentwood, California. Our therapists provide one-on-one speech therapy that can help your child improve and master their speech and language skills. To learn more, book an appointment online or call us today.

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