DOES MY CHILD NEED SPEECH THERAPY?

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

The development of communication skills begins in infancy, before the emergence of the first word. Any speech or language problem is likely to have a significant effect on the child's social and academic skills and behavior. The earlier a child's speech and language problems are identified and treated, the less likely it is that problems will persist or get worse. Early speech and language intervention can help children be more successful with reading, writing, schoolwork, and interpersonal relationships.

We take pride in helping your family navigate the child’s needs through formal evaluation, observation, collaborative goal setting, and individual services with your child.  We take passion in addressing the “whole child” and making sure we address the needs that are obvious as well as those that seem to be below the surface.

What We Cover

We can cover a variety of areas and offer appropriate support in the home, in the school, and for the family.  Those areas include: autism, apraxia, oral motor delays, receptive language, expressive language, processing disorders, executive functioning, cognition, attention and focus, behavioral issues, sensory processing disorders, social-emotional language struggles, feeding, pragmatic language skills, group participation, life skills, and more.  

Does my child need services?

Click on your child’s age below to work out if your child’s communication is typical for their age.  If your child is not doing the things outlined an appointment with a speech language pathologist may be worthwhile.

Remember: This not a comprehensive list & does not replace assessment by a speech language pathologist. It should be used as a guide only.

This information represents, on average, the age by which most monolingual speaking children will accomplish the listed milestones. Children typically do not master all items in a category until they reach the upper age in each age range. Just because your child has not accomplished one skill within an age range does not mean the child has a disorder. However, if you have answered no to the majority of items in an age range, seek the advice of an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK THAT MY CHILD MAY HAVE A SPEECH, LANGUAGE, OR HEARING PROBLEM? 

  • No-one is able to understand what your child is saying
  • Your child finds it difficult to think of what to say
  • Your child struggles to say words
  • Your child has a hoarse voice
  • Your child’s speech is dysfluent (stuttering). For example: repetitions (eg. B-b-b-b-but not now), prolongations (eg. Mmmm-me too) & blocks (eg. R—ub it out)
  • Your child’s social skills seem different to their peers. Things to consider include eye contact, play development, turn taking, engaging with others, understanding vocal tone and facial expressions & knowing how to make friends

This is a helpful handout for your initial questions.   

About Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

  • Speech disorders occur when a person has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently (e.g., stuttering is a form of disfluency) or has problems with his or her voice or resonance.
  • Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). Language disorders may be spoken or written and may involve the form (phonology, morphology, syntax), content (semantics), and/or use (pragmatics) of language in functional and socially appropriate ways.
  • Social communication disorders occur when a person has trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. These disorders may include problems (a) communicating for social purposes (e.g., greeting, commenting, asking questions), (b) talking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and (c) following rules for conversation and story-telling. All individuals with autism spectrum disorder have social communication problems. Social communication disorders are also found individuals with other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury.
  • Cognitive-communication disorders include problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving. These disorders usually happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia, although they can be congenital.
  • Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.