During their early stage, children experience many changes. In the first couple of years, they learn how to babble, crawl, speak, and walk. From time to time, it may happen that toddlers do not develop some skills as expected. These occurrences are usually completely normal and can be fixed with speech therapy for your toddler.
For example, some children have difficulties pronouncing particular letters or words, so their parents opt for speech therapy for toddlers. Some babies take even more time to utter their first words.
We will try to make this phenomenon more familiar to you and help you realize that none of this is concerning if you notice it on time and treat it appropriately. Many professionals nowadays know how to deal with these problems, giving you a lot of freedom in finding the best solution.
Is Speech Therapy Right For Your Toddler?
Children that experience any type of communication issues are often referred to speech therapists for toddlers. The therapy serves as a way to treat the problem. The goal is to help the child fix potential speech disorders before they develop any further.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are there to help your child work on their speech before it gets too late. They are also referred to as speech therapists.
How Can Speech Therapists Help Your Toddler?
Speech therapists are trained professionals that help children and adults with different speech-related issues. During their educational process, their main focus is human anatomy and physiology. However, they study other branches such as linguistics, psychology, neurology, etc., as well.
Speech-language pathologists help with lisps and stuttering, but they also help in numerous other ways. We are going to list a few so you can get a grasp of how they operate:
- Speech disorders, including articulation and motor speech disorders, among many others
- Fluency disorders, such as stuttering
- Voice disorders
- Cognitive-communicative disorders such as social-communication skills or reasoning
- Some children have difficulty swallowing their food, which might be caused by some deeper issues that can also affect speech. Speech therapy for toddlers can help with this as well.
5 Warning Signs Your Toddler Should See an (SLP) Speech-Language Pathologist
Children do not have to develop in the same way. Some are more progressive, while others take more time to affect development. However, particular problems may occur that need to be treated on time.
Here are some of the signs that might indicate that your toddler needs speech therapy.
Your Child Has a Stutter
Stuttering is a speech disorder that refers to the inability to produce smooth sentences. Many children face this problem and there are several available treatments.
Stuttering usually occurs when children start creating cohesive sentences at the age of 2 or 3. Of course, this is not always the case, as some children start stuttering later on as they develop.
Stuttering happens suddenly, but parents can notice it. If you see your child making a weird face while talking or if he’s experiencing any sort of discomfort when trying to produce a sentence, chances are high that your child is stuttering.
As soon as you notice anything odd, visit a speech therapist to help you change this before it is too late.
Your Toddler Only Says a Small Number of Words
There is an approximate number of words that children of a particular age can say.
For example, children that are around a year and a half old can say over 20 words, and children between 1.5 and 2 years old can say over 50 words. Anything less than that is slightly concerning and asks for a therapist’s attention.
This is not the surest indicator that there is an issue, but it is wise to check things out on time.
Your Child Has Issues Articulating Certain Sounds
Articulation is also an essential part of your child’s development. If you notice that your toddler cannot produce clear sounds, make sure to take them to a specialist.
You can detect this issue by listening to your child and seeing how many sounds they use to produce words. Some children use a limited number of sounds for all words, omitting many vowels and consonants.
Good articulation is of high importance, and speech therapists do not take this issue lightly.
Your Child Doesn’t Understand Simple Statements
When you ask your child simple questions or make clear orders, and they do not understand, this might be a reason to see an SLP. Of course, this refers to the children by the age of 2 that seem to have comprehension issues.
Toddlers can understand over 300 words by that age, which means that they should know when you say “bring me the toy” or “do you want chocolate”‘.
Your Child is Quiet in Social Situations
Children can be very shy at times. However, if they are constantly quiet at social gatherings or they have trouble expressing themselves, you might want to consider taking them in for speech therapy for toddlers.
This sign can be a bit confusing, but it is not something to be excluded. Pay attention to your child’s personality and social behavior.
At What Age is Speech Therapy for Your Toddler Recommended?
Checking for signs of speech disorders cannot come too early. One cannot pinpoint a particular age for checking a child for potential speech disorders.
However, some issues are ascribed to a particular age:
- 1 year old: A child around 12 months old should understand some basic things and make certain movements such as nodding. If your child is having trouble with this, make sure to sign them up for speech therapy.
- 2 years old: Children at this age can form sentences and use a significant number of words.
- 3 years old: At this point, your child’s vocabulary should contain a lot of words. If your child cannot understand and pronounce many words at 3 years old, take them to a speech therapist.
Speech therapy practices for your 2 year old at home
Children accomplish so much during their first couple of years. In a matter of months, they learn to crawl, walk, talk, and socialize with others. Most of the skills your child learns come with an expected age range. For instance, most babies begin to crawl between 6 and 10 months, and the vast majority are accomplished walkers by 15 months.
The same milestones exist for speech.
Your child should say their first word by age 1, and they should know about 20 words by 18 months. If your child is behind these targets, don’t hit the panic button. Your child may just be slow in developing their language skills and could benefit from working with a speech therapist.
If you’re struggling to find ways to practice on your child’s speech at home, take a look at the video above for some ideas.
Constantly monitor your child’s behavior if you want to discover and treat potential speech disorders. At the same time, you shouldn’t be too worried if you notice anything unusual. Speech-language pathologists can be of great help in this endeavor.
If you think your child may be a candidate for speech therapy, schedule a consultation with one of our talented therapists today.