Speech-Language Pathology

How do I know if my child has a communication disorder?

  • Child is not talking at all by age two
  • Speech is difficult to understand after age three
  • Child omits many beginning sounds after age three (e.g., og for dog)
  • Child uses mostly vowel sounds when speaking after age three (e.g., "um ee i un" for "come see
  • Dick run)
  • Substitutes easy sounds for difficult ones at age five (e.g., "tandy" for "candy'')
  • Word endings are often dropped after age five ("He walk ho" for "He walked home")
  • Words are left out, mixed up, or ungrammatical in sentences at age five, (e.g. "Him eating cookie")
  • Child has difficulty with any speech sounds at age seven
  • Voice is monotone, too loud or too soft, too high or too low, or too much sound goes through the nose
  • Child displays frequent repetitions of sounds or words, prolongs sounds, blocks on words or other stuttering behaviors. (There is a certain amount of disfluency around age 3 to 4 considered normal)

How can I encourage speech and language development?

  • Read to your child. Sometimes "reading" is simply describing pictures in a book without following the written words. Ask your child, "What's this?" and encourage naming and pointing of familiar objects in the book.
  • Talk as you bathe, feed, and dress your child. Talk about what you're doing, where you are going, what you will do when you arrive, and who and what you will see.
  • Use good speech that is clear and simple for your child to model.
  • Expand on single words your child uses: "Here is Mama. Mama loves you."
  • Use gestures such as waving goodbye to help convey meaning.
  • Repeat what your child says indicating that you understand. Build and expand on what was said. "Want juice? I have juice. I have apple juice. Do you want apple juice?"
  • Ask questions that require a choice. "Do you want an apple or an orange?"
  • Sing simple songs and recite nursery rhymes to show the rhythm and pattern of speech.
  • When your child starts a conversation, give your full attention whenever possible.
  • Encourage your child to give directions. Follow their directions as they explain how to build a tower of blocks.

Speech-Language Pathologists are available to serve all age groups.

Pediatric services include prevention, screening, consultation, assessment/diagnosis, treatment, intervention, management, counseling, and follow-up services for:

  • Apraxia
  • Articulation disorders
  • Feeding and swallowing disorders
  • Fluency disorders
  • Language disorders
  • Phonological disorders
  • Voice disorders

For more information, please contact a Speech-Language Pathologist at any of the following Professional Therapy Services locations