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The Top Development and Speech Therapy Questions Parents Have

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Does your child need speech therapy? Take a look at the top questions have about this type of service and speech and language development.

Do Late Talkers Always Need Therapy?

Between seven months and one year of age, many children will say one or two simple, short words, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). But this doesn't mean your child will magically start to speak on their first birthday.

Speech and language development, like other areas of growth, happens at different rates for different children. Some children may continue to babble or make sounds longer than others. If your child is 12-months and not an active talker, they may need more time. But if your child is a late talker, doesn't babble/make sounds, doesn't respond to your words, won't use gestures, or you have any other concern, talk to a professional.

Should Toddlers Speak Clearly?

Your child just started speaking. But you're the only one who can truly understand them. If your toddler's speech seems garbled or they don't always use the right sound for the right words, you may not need to worry. It takes time for young children to develop speech sound acquisition. As your child ages, their speech should gradually become easier to understand.

If your child's speech doesn't improve, you can't understand anything they say, or you're not sure what sounds they should or shouldn't speak correctly (for their age), ask the pediatrician about a speech-language therapy consultation. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) can assess their development and help you to understand if your child needs therapy.

Is There a Right Age to Start Speech Therapy?

This type of service is available for young children, older children, and adults of all ages. There's no right age for all children to begin therapy. Some children may need services at a younger age, while others may not have noticeable speech, language, or communication issues until they start school. Again, consult a professional as soon as you have concerns. If the SLP recommends treatment, the right time to start therapy is now.

Does Your Child Need to See an SLP for Therapy?

Simply stated — yes. Even though your child's school teacher or pediatrician may pick up on a speech or language delay or disorder, the SLP has the training and experience necessary. Some parents prefer to start with a visit to the pediatrician's office or a consultation with the teacher. If the doctor or educator have concerns or feel your child needs further evaluation, ask these professionals for a referral for a qualified SLP.